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Exp Eye Res. 2009 Jan;88(1):22-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2008.09.018. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Effect of shape and coating of a subretinal prosthesis on its integration with the retina.

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1
Stanford University, Department of Applied Physics, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

Retinal stimulation with high spatial resolution requires close proximity of electrodes to target cells. This study examines the effects of material coatings and 3-dimensional geometries of subretinal prostheses on their integration with the retina. A trans-scleral implantation technique was developed to place microfabricated structures in the subretinal space of RCS rats. The effect of three coatings (silicon oxide, iridium oxide and parylene) and three geometries (flat, pillars and chambers) on the retinal integration was compared using passive implants. Retinal morphology was evaluated histologically 6 weeks after implantation. For 3-dimensional implants the retinal cell phenotype was also evaluated using Computational Molecular Phenotyping. Flat implants coated with parylene and iridium oxide were generally well tolerated in the subretinal space, inducing only a mild gliotic response. However, silicon-oxide coatings induced the formation of a significant fibrotic seal around the implants. Glial proliferation was observed at the base of the pillar electrode arrays and inside the chambers. The non-traumatic penetration of pillar tips into the retina provided uniform and stable proximity to the inner nuclear layer. Retinal cells migrated into chambers with apertures larger than 10 mum. Both pillars and chambers achieved better proximity to the inner retinal cells than flat implants. However, isolation of retinal cells inside the chamber arrays is likely to affect their long-term viability. Pillars demonstrated minimal alteration of the inner retinal architecture, and thus appear to be the most promising approach for maintaining close proximity between the retinal prosthetic electrodes and target neurons.

PMID:
18955050
DOI:
10.1016/j.exer.2008.09.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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