May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
The EPI RET3 Wireless Intraocular Retina Implant System: Development of Surgical Techniques, Function Tests, and Tissue Compatibility of Electrical Stimulation in Goettinger Minipigs
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • T. Laube
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • C. Brockmann
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • N. Bornfeld
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • B. Sellhaus
    Institute of Neuropathology,
    RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • G. Roessler
    Department of Ophthalmology,
    RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • P. Walter
    Department of Ophthalmology,
    RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • EPI RET3 Study Group
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  T. Laube, None; C. Brockmann, None; N. Bornfeld, None; B. Sellhaus, None; G. Roessler, None; P. Walter, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  BMBF grant 01KP0403
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 5876. doi:
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      T. Laube, C. Brockmann, N. Bornfeld, B. Sellhaus, G. Roessler, P. Walter, EPI RET3 Study Group; The EPI RET3 Wireless Intraocular Retina Implant System: Development of Surgical Techniques, Function Tests, and Tissue Compatibility of Electrical Stimulation in Goettinger Minipigs. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5876.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: : To develop and establish surgical methods for safe implantation and explantation of wireless intraocular retina implant systems. To test the in vivo-function of active retina implants and to evaluate the tissue compatibility of epiretinal electrical stimulation.

Methods: : Wireless epiretinal implants consisting of an HF receiver coil for power supply and an electrode array connected via a flexible cable were implanted into the right eye of 16 Göttinger minipigs under general anaesthesia. Fourteen of the implants were active, 2 were inactive. After phacoemulsification, complete three port pars plana vitrectomy was performed, and the implant inserted through a scleral incision. The receiver coil was placed behind the iris and the electrode array was fixed onto the central retina with a retinal tack. Electrical epiretinal stimulation was performed in 7 minipigs for 1 hour using short biphasic charge-balanced charges of 0,9 mC/cm2 or 2 mC/cm2, respectively. Animals were observed for a period of 14 days. After sacrificing, the eyes were enucleated and processed for histological evaluation. For explantation the retinal tack was retained and the implant removed through a scleral incision.

Results: : The implantation and explantation procedures could be well established and are safely performed with the current design of the retina implant. Intraoperatively a minor reversible punctiform bleeding of the retina occurred in one case and an iris bleeding in a second case. Stimulation artifacts were measured with subconjunctival needle electrodes in 10 of 14 eyes up to a maximum period of 8 months postoperatively, proving successful in vivo-function of the implants. Electrical stimulation of the retina caused no tissue alterations at neither of the charges applied.

Conclusions: : The performed surgical procedures are safe and effective. A long-term successful in vivo-function of the retina implants could be documented and charges of up to 2 mC/cm2 are safely applicable to retinal tissue in a time range of 1 hour.

Keywords: degenerations/dystrophies • retinal degenerations: hereditary • vitreoretinal surgery 
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