Emily MacLean

Postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry
Université de Montréal

Award-winning publicationIn Vivo Laser-Mediated Retinal Ganglion Cell Optoporation Using Kv1.1 Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles

Published in: Nano Letters


Retinal diseases are among the leading causes of vision loss, and current therapies often fail to cure—or only temporarily alleviate—them. Ariel Wilson and her team developed an innovative gene therapy method that relies on an ultrafast laser to illuminate gold nanoparticles on the cell surface. The very small temporary openings that are created enable therapeutic genetic material to enter. Theirs is the very first study to demonstrate the feasibility of this in vivo method, which, unlike other gene therapy approaches, does not produce any toxic side effects. The next steps will focus on the technique’s potential in a pathological context to determine whether recovery in people suffering from eye diseases is possible.