10 May 2017

Prototype of a soft bionic retina

Oxford student has created an artificial retina that sees "Tetris"

Alexey Paevsky, Ekaterina Zaikina, "Neuron News"

A picture from the press release of Oxford student creates first synthetic retina - VM

The development of an Oxford University student will help improve vision. The journal Scientific Reports has published a description of a new prototype of an artificial retina made of soft material (Vanessa Restrepo Schild et al., Light-Patterned Current Generation in a Droplet Bilayer Array).

Retinal testing: Light exposure causes action potentials
(here and below are drawings from an article in Scientific Reports)

Vanessa Restrepo-Schild decided to replace solid materials that are usually tried to be used for implants that replace the retina. The girl suggested soft, imitating human tissues, biological tissues developed in the university laboratory.

"The human eye is incredibly sensitive, so foreign bodies, for example, metal retinal implants, can cause inflammation. A synthetic soft implant will not harm the eye," says Vanessa.

The prototype of the artificial retina is a field of 4 × 4 cells, each of which is a cube of hydrogel and a kind of droplets-biopixels, which are connected to each other by a lipid bilayer through which the molecules of the protein-bacteriorhodopsin, sensitive to light, pass.

Retinal device

When photons enter a droplet, bacteriorhodopsin opens an ion channel that creates an action potential that can further stimulate retinal ganglion cells.

Testing has shown that the retina of 16 pixels distinguishes well between black and white images, can recognize movement (using the example of figures from the tetris game), and can also recognize semitones.

This is how the retina "sees" black and white images

This is how she "sees" the Tetris game

This is how the retina "sees" semitones

The student's development is already being patented, and Vanessa herself is going to improve the artificial retina by adding more colors to its recognition spectrum.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  10.05.2017

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version