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J Neural Eng. 2011 Jun;8(3):035004. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/3/035004. Epub 2011 May 18.

Activation of retinal ganglion cells following epiretinal electrical stimulation with hexagonally arranged bipolar electrodes.

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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


We investigated retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses to epiretinal electrical stimulation delivered by hexagonally arranged bipolar (Hex) electrodes, in order to assess the feasibility of this electrode arrangement for future retinal implant devices. In vitro experiments were performed using rabbit retinal preparations, with results compared to a computational model of axonal stimulation. Single-unit RGC responses to electrical stimulation were recorded with extracellular microelectrodes. With 100 µs/phase biphasic pulses, the threshold charge densities were 24.0 ± 11.2 and 7.7 ± 3.2 µC cm(-2) for 50 and 125 µm diameter Hex electrodes, respectively. Threshold profiles and response characteristics strongly suggested that RGC axons were the neural activation site. Both the model and in vitro data indicated that localized tissue stimulation is achieved with Hex electrodes.

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