Researchers from Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Newcastle University have created a proof of concept artificial retina that may one day help treat a number of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. The device is made of semiconductor nanorod-carbon nanotubes and doesn’t have any metal wire components. The resulting film is both flexible and light sensitive, allowing it to be shaped into the form of a natural retina.
The researchers tested the new device on chicks whose retinas were still not light sensitive, and showed that the artificial retina was able to induce neuronal activity in response to light.
Some details from the study abstract in Nano Letters:
A plasma polymerized acrylic acid midlayer was used to achieve covalent conjugation of semiconductor nanorods directly onto neuro-adhesive, three-dimensional carbon nanotube surfaces. Photocurrent, photovoltage, and fluorescence lifetime measurements validate efficient charge transfer between the nanorods and the carbon nanotube films. Successful stimulation of a light-insensitive chick retina suggests the potential use of this novel platform in future artificial retina applications.
Press release: Artificial retina could someday help restore vision…