Photovoltaic Retinal Prosthesis for Restoring Sight to …

The proposed prosthesis is intended to help people suffering from retinal degenerative diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The former is the foremost cause of vision loss in North America, and the latter causes an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide to lose sight, according to the nonprofit group Foundation Fighting Blindness. In these diseases, the retina's photoreceptor cells slowly degenerate, ultimately leading to blindness. But the inner retinal neurons that normally transmit signals from the photoreceptors to the brain are largely unscathed. Retinal prostheses are based on the idea that there are other ways to stimulate those neurons.

Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis for restoring sight to the blind Palanker, ..

The result of this was his idea for the invention that led to the modern
telescopes we commonly use today.

Photovoltaic Retinal Prosthesis for Restoring Sight to the Blind
Stanford University


"Blindness is one of the most devastating consequences of disease.


Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis for restoring sight ..

(2015) Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis for restoring sight to the blind

Daniel Palanker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and in the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory at Stanford University. He received his PhD in Applied Physics in 1994 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Palanker studies interactions of electric field with biological cells and tissues in a broad range of frequencies: from quasi-static to optical, and develops their diagnostic, therapeutic and prosthetic applications, primarily in ophthalmology. Several of his developments are in clinical practice world-wide: Pulsed Electron Avalanche Knife (PEAK PlasmaBladeTM), Patterned Scanning Laser Photocoagulator (PASCALTM), and 3-D Image-guided Laser System for Cataract Surgery (CatalysTM). In addition to laser-tissue interactions, retinal phototherapy and associated neural plasticity Dr. Palanker is working on electro-neural interfaces, including the Photovoltaic Retinal Prosthesis for restoring sight to the blind.


Retinal prostheses aim at restoring sight by electrical ..

Retinal degenerative diseases lead to blindness due to loss of the “image capturing” photoreceptors, while neurons in the “image-processing” inner retinal layers are relatively well preserved. Information can be reintroduced into the visual system using electrical or optical stimulation of the surviving inner retinal neurons. Some electronic retinal prosthetic systems have already been tested in human patients and approved for clinical use, while more advanced technologies are being developed. Alternatively, light sensitivity can be artificially introduced into retinal neurons using opto-genetic or opto-pharmacological methods. Several optogenetic approaches have been successfully tested in animal models of retinal degeneration. I will review the current state of art with each of these approaches, their challenges, technological solutions and perspectives of restoration of sight to the blind.