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Reutlingen, Germany

Stingl K.,University Hospital of Tuebingen | Greppmaier U.,Retina Implant | Wilhelm B.,STZ eyetrial | Zrenner E.,University Hospital of Tuebingen
Klinische Monatsblatter fur Augenheilkunde | Year: 2010

Visual implants are medical technologies that replace parts of the visual neuronal pathway. The subretinal implant developed by our group is being used in a human trials since 2005 and replaces the function of degenerated photoreceptors by an electronic device in blind patients. The subretinal implant consists of a 70-μm thin microchip with 1500 microphotodiodes each with an amplifier and an electrode with area of 3 mm × 3 mm. The power supply is provided by a subdermal power supply cable. The microchip is implanted under the macula and transforms the light signal into an electrical one, which is referred directly to the bipolar cells. Requirements for a good function of the implant are a preserved function of the inner retina, as well as clear optic media and a good visual acuity in the earlier life. The current technology can mediate a visual field of 10 - 12° and a computed resolution of up to 0.25° visual angle (corresponding to a visual acuity of 63/1000 - 80/1000) in blind patients. The so far best results from our studies reached a visual acuity of 21/1000 in blind retinitis pigmentosa patients. This overview is intended to inform the ophthalmologist about the current state of the technology and help him/her to advise interested patients. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG.

Wrobel W.-G.,Retina Implant
Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry | Year: 2011

Eberhart Zrenner at the University Eye Clinic of Tübingen has developed a subretinal implant in cooperation with that university's Institute of Natural Science and Medicine (NMI). The implant is located subretinally, behind the retina and the electrical signal is triggered at the point of brightness, and the stimulation strength corresponds to the intensity of the incident light. The microchip is positioned on a thin, highly flexible circuit board of polyimide with gold circuits that transmit power and control signals. During a clinical pilot study at the University, the retinal implant was first tested over a period of up to four months in 11 patients. A new type of surgical procedure was developed that involved creating a small access opening through the external sclera of the eye.

Retina Implant | Date: 2011-09-19

An active retinal implant (

News Article
Site: www.rdmag.com

A new report from the research and consulting firm GlobalData predicts a promising future for the ocular medical device market. The report’s author, GlobalData’s medical device analyst Shashank Settipalli, writes that the successful implantation of the Alpha IMS device made by Retina Implant AG could kick start the growth of the “burgeoning retinal prosthesis market.” Scientists from the University of Oxford recently installed the implant in Rhian Lewis, a woman in the U.K. who suffered from retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disease that has no cure. Photoreceptor cells in the eye die at the onset of the disease. Lewis has no vision in her left eye and was rendered completely blind in her right eye. The wafer-thin electronic chip powered by a tiny battery housed behind the ear restored vision in Lewis’s right eye helping her to see again. The Alpha IMS device has distinct advantages over Second Sight’s Argus II system, its closest competitor in the retinitis pigmentosa space, says Settipalli. This rival product can help an individual suffering from this disease view light and shapes, but does not restore someone’s vision, reports the Los Angeles Times. The analyst highlights another difference between Second Sight’s and Retina AG’s devices writing that “Unlike the Argus II, the Alpha IMS device does not require an external camera or video processing unit. By leveraging these advantages and positive clinical results, Retina Implant AG has ample opportunities to expand its presence in the ocular devices space." Settipalli concludes his analysis describing how this market will continue to flourish: “Start-up and mid-size ophthalmic device companies could appeal to investors encouraged by recent developments, whereas the larger multinational firms may seek new growth strategies through acquisitions and strong research and development efforts.”

News Article | July 5, 2011
Site: www.zdnet.com

On Monday, ZDNet UK visited the Royal Society's annual Summer Science Exhibition, which brings together cutting-edge science and technology projects under way at British universities. In one exhibit, academics from the University of St Andrews demonstrated various approaches to render objects invisible. One method is to use materials with the same reflective properties as their background. To demonstrate this, the university researchers filled a container with a mixture of water and geometric shapes made of sodium polyacrylate. Because the reflectivity of sodium polyacrylate is the same as that of water, light does not bounce off an object made of the material when it is immersed in the liquid. Instead, it passes through the material and the water at the same rate, making the object nearly impossible to see. While this technique is a helpful illustration of invisibility via reflectivity, it is impractical because to use it the object must be entirely composed of sodium polyacrylate, a spokesman for St Andrews conceded.

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