· Providing innovative approaches to clinical-ophthalmic challenges by applying methods and instruments using cellular, molecular, animal studies, gene therapy, tissue engineering, cell therapy, stem cells and nanotechnology.
· Being recognized as a distinguished center in the region to contribute to scientific production on the edge of science
· Creating added values, productions and wealth by biological products and patents design and prototype.
· Addressing national ophthalmic priorities.
· Respecting research ethics in all aspects of human subject, animal subject, research and writing property, privacy of patients, etc.
· Contributing to the development of Farabi hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Iran
The Research Center in Farabi Hospital consists of the following Labs:
1. Chemistry Lab
Chemistry Lab is equipped with applicable facilities and equipment in order to achieve the objectives of Stem Cells Preparations Unit and to conduct research projects. Likewise, scaffold design with appropriate structure and various applications with the ability to adhere to cells for cell migration, proliferation and differentiation, natural and synthetic polymers synthesis, solutions and buffers preparation, different compounds analysis and synthesis, and also collaboration with other departments are among its objectives.
Studying, researching, and performing projects on designing and synthesizing biocompatible scaffolds for cell growth are the main goals of the Chemistry lab of Farabi Eye Research Center. Moreover, composite materials development is of considerable importance because of their ability to create bioactive and biodegradable scaffolds with good mechanical and physical properties and enhancing the ability to control the properties of synthesized scaffolds.
Consequently, the chemistry lab is equipped to analyze the received samples and synthesize scaffolds and composites and to produce high-Dk contact lenses (soft and hard) with hydrogel synthesis approaches. The major scope activities of chemistry lab is tosynthesize suitable polymers to repair orbital floor fracture, determine hydrogen peroxide concentration in titrated samples, determine the ions concentration in the samples bytheclassiclaboratory techniques and/or some equipment, remove interfering ions in different reaction systems, synthesize biopolymer-based microcapsules for desired drug delivery, nano-composites, biocompatible, and biodegradable scaffolds for cell growth. Our current researches involve designing and synthesizing intelligent scaffolds, investigating the effect of surface and structural properties of scaffolds on cell growth, cell proliferation, and differentiation, and performing research on increasing stem cell implantation.
At the end, we declare our readiness for cooperation with research institutes, organizations, and researchers. The identified projects in this section are independently or in cooperation with other organizations and research centers performed in the different fields of science and technology, including biocompatible polymers for medical applications in ophthalmology and tissue engineering.
Chemistry Lab Equipment
· Standard Delivery Universal Oven
· Analytical Balance
· Ultrasonic Bath
· Freeze Dryer, 16 Lit.
· Standard delivery water-bath
· pH meter
· Peristaltic pump
· Overhead stirrer
· Incubator shaker
· Chemical Hood
· Laminar Hood
2. Genetics & Ophthalmic Genetics Lab
Nowadays, genetic study and extensive researches in relation to human diseases are developing. Therefore, the fundamental aim of genetics and ophthalmic genetics lab of Farabi Eye Research Center is to utilize the modern molecular methods by the relevant equipment in order to diagnose diseases, different congenital abnormalities, investigate their genetic profile and also how the pattern of the expression of key genes are related to them. Consequently, this can improve and treat the disease. Because one of the most important aims of this unit is to decrease the number of patients who suffer from ophthalmic diseases, this unit concentrates on the genetic study about ophthalmic abnormalities and diseases with the aim of achieving the relevant therapeutic techniques and fundamental researches in this field. The other activities of this unit are to research into stem cells genetics, investigate the related signaling pathways to their differentiation, and study their gene expression patterns to treat diseases. With regard to this fact, the researches about cancer cells are increasing these days and thus such researches are another activity of this unit. Meanwhile, this unit declares its readiness to collaborate with educational and research centers, professors, researchers, and students in the field of molecular genetics.
3. Clean Room
There are different definitions for cleanroom, but the most complete one presented by Federal Standard (ISO) as: “A room in which the concentration of airborne particles is controlled, and which is constructed and used in a manner to minimize the introduction, generation, and retention of particles inside the room and in which other relevant parameters, e.g. temperature, humidity, and pressure, are controlled as necessary.” these concepts consider the special requirements of industries such as semiconductors (Germanium, Silicon), medical devices, biotechnology, biological studies, stem cells generation, culture and differentiation that are very sensitive to environmental contamination. The air entering a cleanroom from outside is filtered to exclude dust, and the air inside is constantly recirculated through HEPA and/or ULPA. Some cleanrooms are kept at a positive pressure so that if there is any leaks, air leaks out of the chamber instead of unfiltered air coming in. Some cleanroom HVAC systems control the humidity to low levels, such that extra precautions are necessary.
Cleanrooms are classified according to the number and size of particles. The cleanroom of Farabi Eye Research Center is designed as minimally produces and maximally removes articles. In our cleanroom, the air is constantly recirculated through HEPA and ULPA; moreover, it equipped with classes< 10 for cell therapy, 10-1000 for cell isolation and put them on the scaffolds, and 10000 for cell isolation from the animal models. Humidity, temperature, and pressure are under control here. Stem cell preparation, culture, and differentiation are performed in this place. The ones who work in the cleanroom have to wear the particular clothes and there are special disciplines to work within the cleanroom.
The following projects have been done or are in progress in S.P.U cleanroom:
· Culture of bone marrow stemcells and injecting them into orthopedic patients
· Culture of endometrial stemcells and differentiating them into osteoblasts
· Differential specific staining
· Culture of rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stemcells and injecting them into the animals for retina repair
· Culture of limbal stem cell
· Retinoblastoma culture and cell line derivation
· Stem cell culture on the bone scaffolds for transplanting them into the patients
· Preparation of the culture and differentiation media
· Culture of guinea pig bone marrow stemcells and labeling them with DAPI and injecting into the animal
· Culture and isolation of stemcells from the adipose tissue and seed them on scaffold and transplanting it to lab animal
· Holding workshops on isolation of stemcells from bone marrow and dental pulp
· Cooperation with Sharif University to perform different projects
· Cooperation with Tissue Bank of Imam Khomeini Hospital
· Cooperation with Dentistry School of Tehran University of Medical Sciences to perform different projects
· Culture of giant cell tumor of bone
· Cooperation with Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences to perform joint projects between this center and S.P.U
4. Animal Lab
The animal vivarium is used to keep vertebrate animals such as mice, hamsters, rabbits, rats, Guinea pigs, as well as other domestic and wild animals (e.g. sheep, dogs and monkeys), and in some cases aquatic species for research and educational projects.
The term "laboratory animals" refers to animals that are kept and reproduced for educational-scientific researches, medical labs, and drug production or control. Laboratory animals are an integral component of many research projects worldwide and have major contribution as the most important device to knowledge about the unknowns. As we cannot perform new surgical techniques, pharmacological tests, and biological products on human, all must first be tested for safety on animals.
S.P.U animal lab of Farabi Hospital has provided a controlled environment in terms of light, temperature, humidity, ventilation, and sound for keeping vertebrate animals such as mouse, hamster, rabbit, guinea pig, and also domestic and wild animals such as sheep, dogs, and monkeys for research projects.
This laboratory is equipped with a quarantine/isolation room, CSR, and a modern operating room for performing all surgeries, tissue dissection, and sampling (e.g. bone marrow) in accordance with animal ethic protocol.
All facilities required for performing ERG, VEP, and tonometry tests are also available in the laboratory.
The animal lab of Farabi Stem Cells Preparations Unit consists of:
· Change room
· Animal house
· Isolation room
· Operation room: equipped with microscopes, Sialic lights, UV lamp and suction
· Wash room (CRS)
· ERG testing room: equipped with Electroretinogram and its accessories for retina performance evaluation and its photo receptors responses to different light waves.
Activities of Animal Lab
· Holding workshops on isolation of stemcells from bone marrow and dental pulp
· Holding workshops on biocompatibility for Ph.D. students in the field of biomaterials
· Performing research projects in cooperation with:
School of Public Health of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Faculty of Pharmacy of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
Orthopedic group of Sina Hospital
Iranian Tissue Bank, Research and Preparation Center of Imam Khomeini Hospital
Dental Biomaterial Department of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
5. Nano-Ophthalmology Lab
Most of advances in nano-technology have been made in industrial applications, but its clinical aspect, especially in ophthalmology is an emerging science; however, research on this field and achieving scientific breakthroughs is provided. In order to promote technology developments and self-sufficiency in production of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, Farabi Eye Hospital as a center of excellence in ophthalmology in Iran, take action to establish a laboratory for the production of medicines and ophthalmic devices using nano-technology. Establishment of nano-ophthalmology lab in Frabi Eye Hospital as the first specialized nano-ophthalmology lab in the world can be a crucial step in providing our ophthalmic patients with the best care and treatments available. As a result, Farabi Eye Hospital will become the most prestigious ophthalmology specialty and subspecialty center in the Middle East.
Expectations of S.P.U nano-ophthalmology lab are attempting to reach a nano-ophthalmology center, attracting Ph.D. research projects, and producing unique products for the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. The fields of activity of this lab are synthesis of nano-medicines, ocular nano-implants, nano-materials, nano-polymers, and coating medical devices with nano-particles to improve their quality.
Nano-ophthalmology lab declares its readiness to collaborate with educational and research centers, professors, researchers, and students on the projects motivated by the above aims.
6. Proteomics Lab
Stemcells Preparation Unit of Farabi Hospital has the potential to design and implement the projects aimed at biomarkers detection using proteomic and metabolomic approaches. Although Proteomics is currently a nascent field of study, the researches based on Proteomics will be possible by using all facilities of this Unit and in coordination with other departments of Farabi Hospital. With regard to the increasing incidence and prevalence of diseases in developing countries including Iran, utilizing new technologies, such as Proteomics which allows large-scale and high-throughput analyses of biological events, can play an important role in national products, prognosis, diagnosis, setting aim, and quality control processes in medicine, pharmacology, food industry, and even agriculture. Stemcells Preparation Unit of Farabi Hospital declares its readiness to cooperate with other research centers and universities. It is hoped that we can take significant strides towards national productions and promoting the name of Iran by utilizing the ability of researchers interested in advanced medical technologies.
The most important aim of OMICS technology is the non-targeted identification of all gene products, including genomes, transcripts, proteins, and metabolites within a biological sample or under special physiologic conditions.