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N. Grossman, K. Nikolic, V. Poher, G. Kennedy, M. Grubb, M. Neil, J. Burrone, C. Kennard, M. Hankins, P. Degenaar; Non-Invasive Light-Based Retina Prosthesis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4046. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Development of a novel, non-invasive, high resolution retina prosthesis for RP and AMD patients that is based on light stimulation of the residual retina ganglion cells (RGC’s).
The prosthesis is based on impartment of a light sensitivity onto the otherwise ‘blind’ RGCs and the use of external light stimulation source to trigger their activities (Fig. a). The cells are photosensitized by the expression of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) - a light sensitive ion channel (Fig. b) or Melanopsin - a light sensitive G-protein receptor found in ~1% of the RGC’s.
We developed an in-vitro prototype and investigated its spatiotemporal resolution. We demonstrated for the first time known simultaneous stimulation of multiple points on a single cell, i.e. sub-cellular resolution (Fig. c) using a novel micro light emitting device. In addition, we showed a fast triggering of individual spikes with high temporal resolution (Fig. d) and developed an analytical model to describe the photon-neuron kinetics
Advances in biochemistry are exploited to develop a novel retina prosthesis that is based on photostimulation of the RGC’s. This novel approach might enable to surpass technological obstacles that current approaches face. Here, we describe the prosthesis and present our initial in-vitro proof-of-concept results.
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