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J Clin Neurosci. 2005 Jun;12(5):574-9.

Evaluation of extraocular electrodes for a retinal prosthesis using evoked potentials in cat visual cortex.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Prince of Wales Clinical School, Randwick, NSW, Australia. vivekc@bigpond.com



To assess the efficacy of a device using extraocular electrodes as a retinal prosthesis by evaluating the responses evoked in the visual cortex to electrical stimulation.


In anaesthetised cats, a lateral orbital dissection and ipsilateral parietal craniotomy was performed. Two extraocular retinal prosthesis (ERP) disc electrodes were sutured to the sclera on the lateral and superior aspects of the globe. Retinal stimulation was performed with charge-balanced constant-current pulses. Potentials evoked in the visual cortex were measured with a ball electrode placed on the lateral gyrus after removal of the dura.


Stable attachment of the ERP electrodes to the globe was achieved with scleral sutures. Visual cortex responses were recorded with the electrodes in bipolar and monopolar configurations. The evoked response consisted of an early component with a peak around 8 ms, and a late component with a peak after 50 ms. Thresholds for evoking a response occurred at current intensities as low as 500 microA. Through extrapolation from evoked response amplitude data, thresholds as low as 300 microA were calculated. Cathodal monopolar stimulation demonstrated lower thresholds than anodal stimulation for evoking cortical responses.


The ERP electrodes can be easily attached to the globe and are effective in electrically stimulating the retina, evoking responses in the primary visual cortex. Threshold charge-density was within safe limits for neural stimulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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