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Prosthetic retina offers simple solution for restoring sight - 5050 SMD LED Strip Light Manufacture by
Article Posted: 11/26/2012
Article Views: 269
Articles Written: 2148
Word Count: 573
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Prosthetic retina offers simple solution for restoring sight - 5050 SMD LED Strip Light Manufacture

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Researchers from the University of Strathclyde and StanfordUniversity in California are creating a prosthetic retina forpatients of age related macular degeneration (AMD), which affectsone in 500 patients aged between 55 and 64 and one in eight agedover 85. The device would be simpler in design and operation than existingmodels. It acts by electrically stimulating neurons in the retina,which are left relatively unscathed by the effects of AMD whileother 'image capturing' cells, known as photoreceptors, are lost. It would use video goggles to deliver energy and images directly tothe eye and be operated remotely via pulsed near infra-red light-unlike most prosthetic retinas, which are powered through coilsthat require complex surgery to be implanted.

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

Dr Keith Mathieson, now a Reader in the Institute of Photonics atthe University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, was one of the leadresearchers and first author of the paper. He said: "AMD is ahuge medical challenge and, with an aging population, is continuingto grow. This means that innovative, practical solutions areessential if sight is to be restored to people around the worldwith the condition. "The prosthetic retina we are developing has been partlyinspired by cochlear implants for the ear but with a camera insteadof a microphone and, where many cochlear implants have a fewchannels, we are designing the retina to deal with millions oflight 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 aninfra-red beam projected through the eye, the device can takeadvantage of natural eye movements that play a crucial role invisual processing." The research was co-authored by Dr. Jim Loudin of Stanford and ledby Professor Daniel Palanker, also of Stanford, and ProfessorAlexander 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 surgeonneeds only to create a small pocket beneath the retina and thenslip the photovoltaic cells inside it." Dr Mathieson was supported through a fellowship from SU2P, aventure between academic institutions in Scotland and Californiaaimed at extracting economic impact from their joint researchportfolio in photonics and related technologies.

Strathclyde leads the collaboration, which also includes Stanford,the Universities of St Andrews, Heriot-Watt and Glasgow and theCalifornia Institute of Technology. SU2P was established throughfunding from Research Councils UK- as part of its Science Bridgesawards- the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise. The research links to Photonics and Health Technologies atStrathclyde- two of the principal themes of the University'sTechnology and Innovation Centre (TIC), a world-leading researchand technology centre transforming the way universities, business,and industry collaborate. Through Health Technologies at Strathclyde, academics work withindustry and the health sector to find technologies for earlier,more accurate disease detection and better treatments, as well aslife-long disease prevention.

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