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.