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Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik

Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf

Editorial Board Member: Augat, Peter / Gehring, Hartmut / Haueisen, Jens / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Niederlag, Wolfgang / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Schmitz, Georg / Stieglitz, Thomas / Witte, Herbert / Boenick, Ulrich / Jaramaz, Branislav / Kraft, Marc / Lenthe, Harry / Lo, Benny / Mainardi, Luca / Micera, Silvestro / Penzel, Thomas / Robitzki, Andrea A. / Schaeffter, Tobias / Snedeker, Jess G. / Sörnmo, Leif / Sugano, Nobuhiko / Werner, Jürgen / Wintermantel, Erich /

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Volume 57 (2012)

The Retina Implant New Approach to a Visual Prosthesis / Das Retina-Implant Ein neuer Ansatz für eine Sehprothese

1 / G Roessler2 / M Vobig3 / P Walter4

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*Address of correspondence: Dr. med. N. Alteheld, Technical University Aachen, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Pauwelsstr. 30, D-52074 Aachen, Germany

Citation Information: Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering. Volume 49, Issue 4, Pages 99–103, ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: 10.1515/BMT.2004.020, March 2008

Publication History

Published Online:
2008-03-17

Abstract

Currently, no treatment is available for degenerative diseases of retinal photoreceptors. The patients are faced with a high risk of blindness. Biological approaches failed to prove efficacy. A new concept for the treatment of disorders like retinitis pigmentosa is electrical stimulation at various levels of the visual system. Therefore, devices were fabricated with stimulating electrodes contacting retinal or central neurons to elicit biological activity in these cells. It became possible to fabricate even complex devices with an external power supply encapsulated within biocompatible materials. Animal experiments showed that with implanted prototypes cortical activation could be achieved and first experiments in blind human subject also suggest that vision can be restored, however at present in a very low range of simply identifying spots of light. Further developments and also the continuation of animal experiments are necessary before the clinical application will become a standard procedure.

 

Für bestimmte Degenerationen der lichtempfindlichen Photorezeptoren in der Netzhaut gibt es keine Behandlungsmöglichkeit. Die betroffenen Patienten haben ein hohes Erblindungsrisiko. Biologische Ansätze zu einer Therapie sind bisher gescheitert. Eine neue Therapiemöglichkeit besteht in der elektrischen Stimulation verschiedener Ebenen des visuellen Systems. Hierzu werden Implantate gefertigt, deren Reiz elektroden an retinalen oder kortikalen Nervenzellen biologische Aktivität auslösen sollen. Fortschritte in der Fertigung solcher Implantate erlauben heute den Aufbau komplexer Systeme mit externer Stromversorgung in biokompatiblen Hüllstrukturen. Tierversuche haben gezeigt, daβ diese Prototypsysteme in der Lage sind, Aktivierungen im visuellen Kortex auszulösen, und erste Implantationen bei Menschen bestätigen, daβ bereits jetzt ein allerdings noch sehr begrenztes Sehvermögen in Form umschriebener Lichtfleckwahrnehmungen erreicht werden kann. Weitere Entwicklungen und tierexperimentelle Erprobungen sind erforderlich, bevor diese Ansätze in eine breite klinische Anwendung gehen können.

Key words: Visual prosthesis; artificial vision; retina implant; retinal prosthesis

Schlüsselwörter : Sehprothese; Retina-Implant; künstliches Sehen; Retina-Prothese

Citing Articles

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[1]
P. Walter and W. Mokwa
Der Ophthalmologe, 2005, Volume 102, Number 10, Page 933
[2]
Thomas Guenther, Nigel H Lovell, and Gregg J Suaning
Expert Review of Medical Devices, 2012, Volume 9, Number 1, Page 33
[3]
Andreas Wenzel, Christian Grimm, Marijana Samardzija, and Charlotte E. Remé
Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 2005, Volume 24, Number 2, Page 275
[4]
Johannes Menzel-Severing, Bernd Sellhaus, Thomas Laube, Claudia Brockmann, Norbert Bornfeld, Peter Walter, and Gernot Roessler
Ophthalmic Research, 2011, Volume 46, Number 4, Page 192
[5]
Helmut G Sachs, Thomas Schanze, Ursula Brunner, Heiko Sailer, and Christoph Wiesenack
Journal of Neural Engineering, 2005, Volume 2, Number 1, Page S57
[6]
Thomas Stieglitz
Journal of Neural Engineering, 2009, Volume 6, Number 6, Page 065005
[7]
Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg
Science and Engineering Ethics, 2009, Volume 15, Number 3, Page 311

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