Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanosized diamonds enable progress in retinal prostheses

Abstract:
Research groups in several countries are making progress in retinal prosthesis development. If they achieve their aims, patients who have gone blind, due to loss of their photoreceptors, could recover a better simplified form of vision than with available prostheses. One of the groups shows that diamonds could lead the way.

Nanosized diamonds enable progress in retinal prostheses

EU | Posted on June 17th, 2011

An artificial device in the form of a retinal prosthesis can replace dead photoreceptor cells by electrically stimulating the remaining neurons. Two examples of retinal prostheses are digital camera-type electrode arrays and photodiode arrays. However, they have exhibited low output of electric currents meaning external batteries are needed, low sensitivity and poor biocompatibility.

Researchers at Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan have tried to improve the performance of prostheses through the development of thin and soft photoelectric dye-based retinal prostheses, where the photoelectric dye chosen was not toxic to cells. By using a behavior test, they could see that the subretinal prototype implantation in rats led to recovery of vision. These prostheses absorb light and transform photon energy to produce electric potentials.

Scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany have recently developed another subretinal prosthesis and tested it on patients. They have managed to show, for the first time, that micro-electrode arrays containing 1500 photodiodes can give previously blind patients a meaningful and detailed visual perception. Through a corresponding pattern of 38 x 40 pixels produced by the chip, one patients could for example read large letters as complete words, localize and approach persons freely and describe different sorts of fruit.

While another team of researchers from Moorfields Eye Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Quinze-Vingts, Second Sight, Retina Foundation Southwest and Johns Hopkins University, has shown for the first time that a large group of blind patients fitted with a retinal prosthesis can identify letters successfully. The patients used the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, but the researchers are working on the third model, increasing the number of electrodes from 60 to 240.

Researchers connected to the European Commission-funded project DREAMS are instead working on new types of nanotransducers, electric devices converting energy from one form to another, based on artificial nanocystalline diamond. The reasons for using diamond to coat the prosthesis are that this semiconductor show stability, biocompatibility and allow for reduced stimulation currents to improve the resolution from 60 pixels, where only shapes and colors can be seen, to 1000 pixels.
The scientists have tested the tiny prosthesis on retinal cells to see that it can replace the photoreceptors and U.S. colleagues have shown that a similar implant in humans can function. However, no clinical trials using the nanodiamond approach have been conducted.

Much more work is needed before any of these retinal prostheses can be widely available to patients, but the achievements made so far mean that thousands of people could be offered the possibility to recover an improved simplified form of vision in a not too distant future.

####

Contacts:
Elisabeth Schmid
Phone: + 39 02 700 25 72
Fax: + 39 02 700 25 40

Copyright © youris.com - EU research Media Center

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Possible Futures

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Bar-Ilan University to set up quantum research center May 1st, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Personal Care/Cosmetics

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Common nanoparticle has subtle effects on oxidative stress genes May 11th, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

New ORNL method could unleash solar power potential March 16th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project