Tetracycline-family antibiotics may offer early diagnostic for degenerative eye disease

April 21, 2020

A paper published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics (JBO), "Imaging hydroxyapatite in sub-retinal pigment epithelial deposits by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy with tetracycline staining," demonstrates a potential new diagnostic option for catching a degenerative eye disease in its earliest stages.

Tiny deposits of lipids, proteins, and minerals, sometimes known as drusen, can collect under the retina. They may indicate a person's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), so enhanced and early detection is a current clinical need. The initial findings presented in the paper show a new way to achieve molecular contrast based upon sub-retinal mineral deposits. The approach uses a well-known property of the tetracycline-family of antibiotics - their propensity to stain teeth and bones - making visible the smallest of mineral deposits. Utilizing human cadaver retinas containing drusen, the researchers used fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to measure the light emission from tetracycline staining within those ocular mineral deposits.

According to JBO Editor-in-Chief, SPIE Fellow, and MacLean Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth Brian W. Pogue, the novel use of FLIM to harness the properties of a common antibiotic marks an exciting approach to molecular imaging in the eye, and opens up the potential for developing a diagnostic test for early transition to eye disease: "Eye diseases are typically diagnosed by shape, blood flow, or morphology changes in the retina, but this fluorescence test could be more sensitive because the signal is highly specific. It can be used to detect very small molecular mineral deposits that cannot be seen well otherwise and detect them early in the disease process. Since this is a first study, a lot more work needs to be done to make this a real human diagnostic test, but the concept that a common antibiotic could be used in this way, to reveal small mineral deposits, is a very important fundamental discovery."
The article authors are Henryk Szmacinski, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Kavita Hegde, Department of Natural Sciences, Coppin State University, Baltimore, Maryland; Hui-Hui Zeng, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Katayoun Eslami, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Adam Puche, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Imre Lengyel, Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK; and Richard B. Thompson, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

JBO, an open-access journal, is published by SPIE in the SPIE Digital Library, which contains more than 500,000 publications from SPIE journals, proceedings, and books, with approximately 18,000 new research papers added each year.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2019, SPIE provided more than $5.6 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. http://www.spie.org

Daneet Steffens
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478

SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics

Related Blood Flow Articles from Brightsurf:

Brain regions with impaired blood flow have higher tau levels
In Alzheimer's disease, impaired blood flow to brain regions coincides with tau protein buildup.

3D ultrasound enables accurate, noninvasive measurements of blood flow
A 3D ultrasound system provides an effective, noninvasive way to estimate blood flow that retains its accuracy across different equipment, operators and facilities, according to a new study.

Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
Work by a Rice neurobiologist shows that increased blood flow to the brain is not an accurate indicator of neuronal recovery after a microscopic stroke.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory.

3D VR blood flow to improve cardiovascular care
Biomedical engineers are developing a massive fluid dynamics simulator that can model blood flow through the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution.

MRI shows blood flow differs in men and women
Healthy men and women have different blood flow characteristics in their hearts, according to a new study.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Blood flow monitor could save lives
A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.

Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.

Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
An international team of researchers has discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.

Read More: Blood Flow News and Blood Flow Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.