28 June 2022

In May and June of this year I spend seven weeks in the lab of Paul Guichard, Geneva, to learn ultrastructure expansion microscopy (U-ExM) applied on mouse retina. Since Switzerland is a very expensive country, the RIMLS travel grant award was very welcome!

The project started already our lab in Nijmegen, where I collected 60 eyes from our inherited blindness mouse model, whereof half were injected with a gene therapy. The eyes were collected at 5 different timepoint to be able to track the disease progression and gene therapy efficacy over time. Together with a postdoc, working in the lab of Paul Guichard, we managed to be very productive.

In total we dissected all 60 eyes, isolated the retinas, and performed the expansion procedure on all 60 retinas. Subsequently, we have performed more than 180 successful antibody stainings, including imaging. By this we generated a high resolution timeline of the progression of the inherited blindness in our mouse model.

Furthermore, we could show rescue of the blindness condition at ultrastructure level in the gene therapy injected eyes. I’m really happy that the project was so successful! Besides the hard work, there was also time for some social activities with the nice people of the lab. Furthermore, the weekends felt like holidays with all the great hikes I could do around Geneva.

Thanks to the RIMLS travel grant, my time in Geneva resulted in a great experience and beautiful results! Furthermore, we are now able to apply this technique in our own lab, thereby also further improving other projects.

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