Vision restoration with implants in retinal degenerations

Semmelweis Egyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Szemészeti Klinika Budapest.
Orvosi Hetilap 04/2011; 152(14):537-45. DOI: 10.1556/OH.2011.29064
Source: PubMed


Up until now there has been no available treatment for diseases causing the permanent impairment of retinal photoreceptors. Currently the development of the retinal prostheses is the earliest to promise a result that can be implemented in the clinical treatment of these patients. Implants with different operating principles and in various stages of progress are presented in details, highlighting the characteristics, as well as the Hungarian aspects of the development. This survey intends to provide an overview on retinal prostheses, implantable in case of degenerative diseases of the retina, by reviewing and assessing the papers published in relevant journals and based on personal experience. Developments in microelectronics in recent years made it possible and proved to be feasible to replace the degenerated elements in the retina with electrical stimulation. Multiple comparable approaches are running simultaneously. Two types of these implants are directly stimulating the remaining living cells in the retina. Hitherto the finest resolution has been achieved with the subretinal implants. Although the epiretinal implant offer lower resolution, but requires shorter surgery for implantation. Retinal implants in certain retinal diseases are proved to be capable of generating vision-like experiences. A number of types of retinal implants can be expected to appear in clinical practice a few years after the successful conclusion of clinical trials.

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    ABSTRACT: To optimize methods for positioning subretinal visual implants, customizing their cable length, guiding them to the predetermined retinal position, and evaluating their performance. Ten eyes of 10 patients (6 male, 4 female, mean age 46.4 years) were investigated before implantation of a subretinal visual implant. The structural characteristics of the retina as well as the ocular dimensions were determined. Topographic images of the prospective implantation site were subdivided into grids of squares. Each square received a weighted score for suitability. The sum of the scores was calculated, and the region with the highest score was chosen for the implant. In each case, the implant's power supply cable length was calculated by means of magnetic resonance imaging. The planned and achieved positions before and after implantation were compared. The mean light sensitivity ratio between the area actually covered by the chip and that of the planned position was 90.8% with an SD of 11.4%. In two cases with almost perfect positioning, the computed ratio was 100%. Measurements showed that to achieve a 95% sensitivity rate the difference between the planned and achieved chip position must be less than 1.7 mm. Preoperative calculations of the intraocular cable length proved accurate in all cases. Preoperative evaluation of retinal structures and eye morphology is useful for guiding a retinal implant to the designated area. It is a meaningful tool for planning and performing retinal chip implantation, and it optimizes personalized implantation. ( numbers, NCT00515814, NCT01024803.).
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