DARC (Detection of Apoptosis in Retinal Cells) has been developed by Professor M Francesca Cordeiro
at University College London.
Using a genetically modified Annexin, a naturally occurring cellular protein, combined with a fluorescent dye, which has a natural affinity to bind with phosphatidylserine.
DARC can individually detect sick, stressed and apoptosing cells.
WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?
Glaucoma affects 60 million people worldwide.
Glaucoma is the major cause of irreversible blindness in the world, accounting for up to 8% of total blindness. Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy caused by death of a patient’s retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and is estimated to affect more than 60 million people worldwide.
Unfortunately, glaucoma is asymptomatic and patients do not realise they have anything wrong with them until a lot of their sight has been lost.
Today, glaucoma diagnosis is suspected when a patient visits their Ophthalmologist or Optician. The patient will undergo a series of tests, including looking at their visual function. Using visual field analysis, if the patient is shown to have lost visual function, a diagnosis of glaucoma is confirmed. Despite effective methods to lower eye pressure, patients continue to lose vision and show disease progression.
Unfortunately, any existing damage to visual function is currently irreversible with a large number of patients undiagnosed.
DARC offers a brighter future, enabling new therapies to be assessed allowing treatment at the earliest possible stage, before any irreversible damage to patients vision occurs.