A fully organic retinal prosthesis restores vision in a rat model of degenerative blindness

The degeneration of photoreceptors in the retina is one of the major causes of adult blindness in humans. Unfortunately, no e􀀁ective clinical treatments exist for the majority of retinal degenerative disorders. In this work we report on the fabrication and functional validation of a fully organic prosthesis for long-term in vivo subretinal implantation in the eye of Royal College of Surgeons rats, a widely recognized model of retinitis pigmentosa. Electrophysiological and behavioural analyses revealed a prosthesis-dependent recovery of light sensitivity and visual acuity that persists up to 6-10 months after surgery. The rescue of the visual function was accompanied by an increase in the basal metabolic activity of the primary visual cortex, as demonstrated by positron emission tomography imaging. Our results highlight the possibility of developing a new generation of fully organic, highly biocompatible and functionally autonomous photovoltaic prostheses for subretinal implants to treat degenerative blindness.

Presented at:
Neuroscience 2017 (SFN), Washington, District of Columbia, USA, November 11-15, 2017
Nov 11 2017

 Record created 2018-07-07, last modified 2019-06-19

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