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Biophysics of the Eye

Retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in the eye function together and form the foundation for our vision. We believe that understanding the complex processes occurring in the eye for this important sensory modality requires detailed knowledge of both retina and RPE.

Research focus and goals

We investigate the concerted function of these tissues in both health and different disease conditions. We promote biophysical aspects and continuous technical development to address fundamental biological and medical questions in the fields of vision research and ophthalmology.

Our primary goal is to tackle basic mechanisms underlying RPE physiology and several of the blinding eye diseases by focusing on the functioning of different ion channels of the RPE in its interaction with the neural retina. With this, we aim to achieve a more detailed understanding of RPE physiology, resolve disease mechanisms and advance the development of novel stem cell based ocular therapies.

Our primary research interests are:

  1. The complex interactions of the retina and RPE
  2. RPE physiology and pathophysiology
  3. Functionality of stem cell-derived RPE for tissue replacement therapies.

The focus is on the highly crucial electrophysiological characteristics of the retina and the RPE, especially on the impressive machinery of RPE ion channels, whose contribution to visual function is inadequately understood. Methodologically, our work relies on state-of-the-art electrophysiological and high-resolution imaging techniques and utilizes the powerful tools offered by stem cell technology. The main electrophysiological methods include patch-clamp and microelectrode array (MEA) and the imaging methods span from live cell Ca2+ imaging to super-resolution microscopy.

Contact persons

Soile Nymark

Academy of Finland Research Fellow, principal Investigator

soile.nymark [at]

+358 40 849 0009