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J Neural Eng. 2009 Jun;6(3):035007. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/6/3/035007. Epub 2009 May 20.

Optobionic vision--a new genetically enhanced light on retinal prosthesis.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College, London, UK.


The recent discovery that neurons can be photostimulated via genetic incorporation of artificial opsins is creating a revolution in the field of neural stimulation. In this paper we show its potential in the field of retinal prosthesis. We show that we need typically 100 mW cm(-2) in instantaneous light intensity on the neuron in order to stimulate action potentials. We also show how this can be reduced down to safe levels in order to negate thermal and photochromic damage to the eye. We also describe a gallium nitride LED light source which is also able to generate patterns of the required intensity in order to transfer reliable images.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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