Minimal-invasice RPE thermal laser treatment

The aim of this work is to elucidate temperature-dependent biochemical responses of RPE cells; in particular, we investigate cellular responses following sub-lethal temperature increase by laser irradiation using RPE cell- and organ cultures. Sublethal hyperthermia is known to lead to the expression of protective genes and proteins, such as heat shock proteins (HSPs), different kind of growth factors, or antioxidant molecules as glutathione in RPE cells. However, hyperthermia may also be a stress, which eventually could lead to late cell death, if the temperature is too high. A new technique developed in our institute allows us to monitor real-time temperature increase during retinal laser irradiation (AutoPhoN). It enables a safe retinal thermal laser therapy with predetermined temperature increase. Our work is, therefore, to find the most beneficial temperature increase and time setting for RPE cells in terms of cell protection.