Direct localised measurement of electrical resistivity profile in rat and embryonic chick retinas using a microprobe
We report an alternative technique to perform a direct and local measurement of electrical resistivities in a layered retinal tissue. Information on resistivity changes along the depth in a retina is important for modelling retinal stimulation by retinal prostheses. Existing techniques for resistivity-depth profiling have the drawbacks of a complicated experimental setup, a less localised resistivity probing and/or lower stability for measurements. We employed a flexible microprobe to measure local resistivity with bipolar impedance spectroscopy at various depths in isolated rat and chick embryo retinas for the first time. Small electrode spacing permitted high resolution measurements and the probe flexibility contributed to stable resistivity profiling. The resistivity was directly calculated based on the resistive part of the impedance measured with the Peak Resistance Frequency (PRF) methodology. The resistivity-depth profiles for both rat and chick embryo models are in accordance with previous mammalian and avian studies in literature. We demonstrate that the measured resistivity at each depth has its own PRF signature. Resistivity profiles obtained with our setup provide the basis for the construction of an electric model of the retina. This model can be used to predict variations in parameters related to retinal stimulation and especially in the design and optimisation of efficient retinal implants.