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  1. Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. AMD occurs due to dysfunction of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell basement membrane, the Bruch’s membrane. Previous work in the lab demonstrated that retinal pigment epithelial cells preferred stiff substrates to soft ones, and that RGD-conjugated polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogels alone were not sufficient to support long term RPE cell health.​ There is evidence that epithelial and neural cells prefer laminin-derived peptides over fibronectin-derived peptides. Therefore, we examined the fate of RPE cells when seeded on PEG hydrogels conjugated with synthetic laminin peptides.