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Prof. Zrenner inspecting a model of the human eye
Prof. Dr. med. E. Zrenner


Since 1996 the research consortium “Subretinale Microphotodiodes” has been developing a so-called subretinal implant that is designed to give patients who became blind as a result of degenerative retinal diseases a new ability to see.

Partner of the consortium were:

Thanks to the combined efforts of the research consortium, prototypes of the implants were manufactured and basic problems were solved.

  • subretinal stimulation elicits neuronal activity in retinal ganglion cells.
  • The parameters for successful electric stimulation were defined and went into the development process of the chips
  • successful testing in retinas of animals with comparable retinal degenerations
  • successful in vivo tests proving that subretinal stimulation is able to activate the corresponding cortical areas by spatial resolution
  • development of two surgical procedures for implanting the chip.
  • successful explantation and re-implantation experiments in various experimental animals (rabbit, cat and pig)
  • Biocompatibility in animal experiments successfully demonstrated; usual foreign tissue rejection reactions and inflammations did not occur.
  • Biostability in animal experiments proven for a period of up to 6 months; after 6 months, recognizable corrosion; procedure for biostable encapsulement in the testing phase; test materials show no signs of corrosion after being implanted for one year.
  • Manufacture of the first generation of “active” chips.

Further literature: