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J Neural Eng. 2011 Jun;8(3):035003. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/3/035003. Epub 2011 May 18.

Retinal ganglion cell responses to voltage and current stimulation in wild-type and rd1 mouse retinas.

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Department of Physiology, Chungbuk National University School of Medicine, Cheongju 361-763, Korea.


Retinal prostheses are being developed to restore vision for those with retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. Since neural prostheses depend upon electrical stimulation to control neural activity, optimal stimulation parameters for successful encoding of visual information are one of the most important requirements to enable visual perception. In this paper, we focused on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses to different stimulation parameters and compared threshold charge densities in wild-type and rd1 mice. For this purpose, we used in vitro retinal preparations of wild-type and rd1 mice. When the neural network was stimulated with voltage- and current-controlled pulses, RGCs from both wild-type and rd1 mice responded; however the temporal pattern of RGC response is very different. In wild-type RGCs, a single peak within 100 ms appears, while multiple peaks (approximately four peaks) with ∼ 10 Hz rhythm within 400 ms appear in RGCs in the degenerated retina of rd1 mice. We find that an anodic phase-first biphasic voltage-controlled pulse is more efficient for stimulation than a biphasic current-controlled pulse based on lower threshold charge density. The threshold charge densities for activation of RGCs both with voltage- and current-controlled pulses are overall more elevated for the rd1 mouse than the wild-type mouse. Here, we propose the stimulus range for wild-type and rd1 retinas when the optimal modulation of a RGC response is possible.

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