Navigation Links
Prosthetic retina offers simple solution to restoring sight

A device which could restore sight to patients with one of the most common causes of blindness in the developed world is being developed in an international partnership.

Researchers from the University of Strathclyde and Stanford University in California are creating a prosthetic retina for patients of age related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects one in 500 patients aged between 55 and 64 and one in eight aged over 85.

The device would be simpler in design and operation than existing models. It acts by electrically stimulating neurons in the retina, which are left relatively unscathed by the effects of AMD while other 'image capturing' cells, known as photoreceptors, are lost.

It would use video goggles to deliver energy and images directly to the eye and be operated remotely via pulsed near infra-red light- unlike most prosthetic retinas, which are powered through coils that require complex surgery to be implanted.

The prosthetic retina is a thin silicon device that converts pulsed near infra-red light to electrical current that stimulates the retina and elicits visual perception. It requires no wires and would make surgical implantation simpler. The device has been shown to produce encouraging responses in initial lab tests and is reported in an article published in Nature Photonics. The technology is now being developed further.

Dr Keith Mathieson, now a Reader in the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, was one of the lead researchers and first author of the paper. He said: "AMD is a huge medical challenge and, with an aging population, is continuing to grow. This means that innovative, practical solutions are essential if sight is to be restored to people around the world with the condition.

"The prosthetic retina we are developing has been partly inspired by cochlear implants for the ear but with a camera instead of a microphone and, where many cochlear implants have a few channels, we are designing the retina to deal with millions of light sensitive nerve cells and sensory outputs.

"The implant is thin and wireless and so is easier to implant. Since it receives information on the visual scene through an infra-red beam projected through the eye, the device can take advantage of natural eye movements that play a crucial role in visual processing."

The research was co-authored by Dr. Jim Loudin of Stanford and led by Professor Daniel Palanker, also of Stanford, and Professor Alexander Sher, of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Professor Palanker said: "The current implants are very bulky, and the surgery to place the intraocular wiring for receiving, processing and power is difficult. With our device, the surgeon needs only to create a small pocket beneath the retina and then slip the photovoltaic cells inside it."

Dr Mathieson was supported through a fellowship from SU2P, a venture between academic institutions in Scotland and California aimed at extracting economic impact from their joint research portfolio in photonics and related technologies.

Strathclyde leads the collaboration, which also includes Stanford, the Universities of St Andrews, Heriot-Watt and Glasgow and the California Institute of Technology. SU2P was established through funding from Research Councils UK- as part of its Science Bridges awards- the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise.

The research links to Photonics and Health Technologies at Strathclyde- two of the principal themes of the University's Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), a world-leading research and technology centre transforming the way universities, business, and industry collaborate.

Through Health Technologies at Strathclyde, academics work with industry and the health sector to find technologies for earlier, more accurate disease detection and better treatments, as well as life-long disease prevention.


Contact: Paul Gallagher
University of Strathclyde

Related medicine news :

1. Neuroprosthetics symposium to be webcast live from Worcester Polytechnic Institute Nov. 3
2. University of Louisville surgeons perform first prosthetic bypass graft with patients stem cells at point-of-care
3. Researchers aim for direct brain control of prosthetic arms
4. A new definition for periprosthetic joint infection
5. Rothman at Jefferson research suggests abandon convention in diagnosing periprosthetic joint infection
6. AMD risk on the rise for Asians; retinal vein bypass may help many CRVO patients
7. Hallmark Alzheimers disease changes found in retinas of humans and imaged in live animals
8. UCSD receives NIH Transformative R01 Award for stimulation of neuron regeneration in the retina
9. Treatment of retinal conditions appears to have changed significantly in previous decade
10. Case Western Reserve receives $10M to study retinal disease, develop new treatments
11. Emory Eye Center to host 25th Southeastern Vitreoretinal Seminar (SEVR)
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Vereb has been named the organization’s Executive Vice President of Operations, and three ... to key leadership roles in the company. , Debbie Vereb’s appointment to Executive ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and animal health products, ... Technology, and will lead a new, dedicated global team of drug development and ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... from adults today versus those of a similar group taken in 1988 has shown that ... a person in 2008 with the same diet as someone in 1971 would be on ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... The American Society of Clinical ... professional education and clinical training in a health care discipline. , Many ... such as: losing weight, managing pain, or stopping smoking, etc. Frequently, extravagant statements ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... AcousticSheep LLC, creators of the ... honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, for ... SleepPhones® Classic product to a breast cancer patient at the Cleveland Clinic. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... the United States . By early next year, ... the United States . By early next year, ... The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Elekta and ... Tesla) MRI-guided linear accelerator in the United States ... a non-clinical capacity. Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Use this report to: - Learn ... the medical membrane devices market. - Analyze the present ... medical membrane devices market including hemodialyzers, membrane oxygenators, intravenous ... devices. - Gain information on newly approved products, recalls ... Use this report to: - Learn about the performance, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... CRANBURY, N.J. , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... that a securities fraud class action complaint was ... of New Jersey.  The complaint alleges that officers and ... Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between September 15, 2015 ... misleading statements about Amicus Therapeutics, business prospects.  Amicus is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: