Quantum dots enable discovery of breakthrough AMD biomarker

JUNE 16, 2009--Researchers have discovered a biomarker for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Called CCR3, the marker shows strong potential for both early detection and preventive treatment of the disease. They made the discovery using quantum dots--attached to anti-CCR3 antibodies--which bind to CCR3 on abnormal blood vessels in the eyes of living mice. This makes the vessels visible through conventional means before they have penetrated the retina.

JUNE 16, 2009--A research team led by Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY) has discovered a biological marker for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in older adults. The marker, CCR3, shows strong potential for both early detection and preventive treatment of the disease. The researchers were able to detect correlating abnormal blood vessels in the eyes of living mice by injecting them with quantum dots--attached to anti-CCR3 antibodies--which bind to CCR3 on the surface of the abnormal vessels. This makes the vessels visible through conventional means, even before they have penetrated the retina.

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