Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Eye's Cubes

Scaffold-supported stem cells grown and transplantable into the retina in a biodegradable tray

10 June 2021

Eye's Cubes

Sweeping a curve at the back of our eyes, the retina helps to capture light, studded with tiny photoreceptors which act like pixels in a camera sensor, but are often lost with age or disease leading to blindness. Here, researchers grow human stem cells inside an 'ice cube tray' design – an artificial scaffold where the cells change into retinal pigment epithelium cells and knit together in multiple layers – mimicking the healthy outer layers of the retina. Researchers hope to transplant these scaffolds into damaged eyes, letting the biodegradable trays crumble away while leaving a densely-packed bed of healthy cells behind to restore vision. Modified versions of these biocompatible scaffolds, built using a process called photolithography, may help in restoring or maintaining the function of other tissues, too.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.