‘Vision Core Leuven’: a service platform for compound screening and disease modelling

‘Vision Core Leuven’ (VCL) is a multidisciplinary service platform at KU Leuven that offers a unique portfolio of relevant preclinical eye disease models, complementary state-of-the-art technologies and expertise in morphological and functional phenotyping of the eye and visual system. The goal of this platform is to evaluate the impact of a candidate drug or a certain intervention (e.g. disease model, genetic or pharmacological/therapeutic manipulation) on the structure and function of the eye. Importantly, the platform strives to open up the novel research concept of ‘the eye as a window to the body’, postulating the eye as a model system to obtain insights into mechanisms and processes underlying many human diseases, i.e. pathological angiogenesis, fibrosis, inflammation and neurodegeneration. Several complementary modules have been established to study these cellular processes: (i) an in vitro & ex vivo toolbox, (ii) a set of ocular disease models, mimicking prevalent pathologies such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) and (iii) state-of-the-art in vivo technologies/equipment, such as topical endoscopy fundus imaging (TEFI), optical coherence tomography (OCT), confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO), electroretinograms (ERGs) and various vision-guided behaviour tests. We are continuously optimizing and validating our modules and models, using reference molecules and promising novel compounds (e.g. ROCK inhibitors, anti-PlGF, integrin inhibitors). With this unique platform, VCL aims to consolidate or initiate collaborations with biopharma and to engage in high-profile scientific research programs. For more information, pay us a visit at www.visioncore.be.

Authors

Lemmens K. (1,2)
Kindt N. (2)
De Groef L. (1)
Stalmans I. (3)
Heymans S. (4,5)
Arckens L. (6)
Moons L. (1)

Organisations

Laboratory of Neural Circuit Development and Regeneration, Animal Physiology and Neurobiology Section, Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven (1)
Vision Core Leuven, KU Leuven, Leuven (2)
Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven, Leuven (3)
Centre for Molecular and Vascular Biology (CMVB), Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven (4)
Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht, The Netherlands (5)
Laboratory of Neuroplasticity and Neuroproteomics, Animal Physiology and Neurobiology Section, Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven (6)

Presenting author

Kim Lemmens, Scientific Manager, Vision Core Leuven
kim.lemmens@kuleuven.be
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