Retina is a layered structure of the eye, composed of different cellular components working together to produce a complex visual output. Because of its important role in visual function, retinal pathologies commonly represent the main causes of visual injury and blindness in the industrialized world. It is important to develop in vitro models of retinal diseases to use them in first screenings before translating in in vivo experiments and clinics. For this reason, it is important to develop bidimensional (2D) models that are more suitable for drug screening and toxicological studies and tridimensional (3D) models, which can replicate physiological conditions, for investigating pathological mechanisms leading to visual loss. This review provides an overview of the most common retinal diseases, relating to in vivo models, with a specific focus on alternative 2D and 3D in vitro models that can replicate the different cellular and matrix components of retinal layers, as well as injury insults that induce retinal disease and loss of the visual function.
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