20 June 2013

Wireless Retinal Prosthesis

Biologists have successfully tested a retinal prosthesis on live rats

RIA NewsAmerican biologists have successfully transplanted retinal microprostheses into the eyes of rats and tested their effectiveness and safety, which opens the way for clinical trials, according to an article published in the journal Nature Communications (Mandel et al., Cortical responses elicited by photovoltaic subretinal prostheses exhibit similarities to visually evoked potentials; a popular retelling can be read on the Medical Xpress website: Wireless subretinal prostheses allows blind mice to see light – VM).

In May 2012, biotechnologists from Stanford University presented to the world a special retinal prosthesis that does not require a power source and requires minimal surgical intervention for implantation. This device is a set of pixels that convert infrared light into impulses understandable to neurons. For its operation, it is only necessary to insert a prosthesis inside the eye and put on special glasses with a built-in camera and an infrared emitter.

A year later, Daniel Palanker and his colleagues published the first results of testing the prosthesis on live rats. In the course of these experiments, the scientists produced several different models of cybersetching, the pixel sizes of which varied from large (280 micrometers) to small (70 micrometers). Scientists implanted them inside the eyes of three dozen rats and monitored the adaptation of animals to their new organ of vision for several months.

An artificial retina implanted in the eye of a rat with pixels measuring 140 microns (photo by Palanker Lab) – VM.

According to biotechnologists, the prostheses were successfully integrated into the structure of the eye after surgery, without causing inflammation or destruction of the surrounding tissues and vitreous during the six months of the experiment. Judging by the activity of neurons under the cybersetcher, she regularly transmitted the infrared light of the glasses into nerve impulses. According to the researchers, the strength of the response to the pulse of IR radiation and its duration corresponded to the reaction of the eyes of healthy rats to light.

This fact, according to the authors of the article, allows us to proceed to the manufacture and testing of such prostheses on human volunteers. However, the scientists first plan to improve the design and resolution of the cyber-grid by adding a system of mini-mirrors to it, which will improve the performance of individual pixels and reduce interference.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru20.06.2013

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