Design and validation of a foldable and photovoltaic wide-field epiretinal prosthesis

Retinal prostheses have been developed to fight blindness in people affected by outer retinal layer dystrophies. To date, few hundred patients have received a retinal implant. Inspired by intraocular lenses, we have designed a foldable and photovoltaic wide-field epiretinal prosthesis (named POLYRETINA) capable of stimulating wireless retinal ganglion cells. Here we show that within a visual angle of 46.3 degrees, POLYRETINA embeds 2215 stimulating pixels, of which 967 are in the central area of 5 mm, it is foldable to allow implantation through a small scleral incision, and it has a hemispherical shape to match the curvature of the eye. We demonstrate that it is not cytotoxic and respects optical and thermal safety standards; accelerated ageing shows a lifetime of at least 2 years. POLYRETINA represents significant progress towards the improvement of both visual acuity and visual field with the same device, a current challenging issue in the field.

Published in:
Nature Communications, 9, 1, 992
Mar 08 2018

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 Record created 2018-03-08, last modified 2020-10-24

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