Prosthetic Retina Literature Review




Holland, William

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Retinal implants have become a more feasible eye-corrective tool in recent years. Examples of modern retinal implants include: the Argus II electronic epiretinal device, and the IMS electronic subretinal device (Jalil, Mills, & Stanga, 2017). Some more examples include, the Intelligent Retinal Implant system II (IRIS II) which has gained a CE mark1, and the EPI-RET3 Retinal Implant System which is an entirely intraocular implant. (Bloch, 2019). In addition, the use of retinal implants has now become both economically advantageous as well as approved for public use as in 2011 the Argus II Retinal Prothesis system received a CE mark (Jalil, Mills, & Stanga, 2017). In 2013 it was approved by the FDA (Jalil, Mills, & Stanga, 2017). According to an economic evaluation on the cost effectiveness of the Argus II retinal prothesis on patients with retinitis pigmentosa, patients are now willing to pay for the cost of the implants within countries in the Eurozone (Borgonovi et al.,2014). Unfortunately, while the retinal devices do improve vision, they do not provide a “high enough resolution or acuity for a patient to regain a fully functional life” (Jalil, Mills, & Stanga, 2017). Some studies use a sub-retinal approach using a semi-conductor-based prosthetic to stimulate the retina electrically (Chow et al., 2001). However, this study employed the use of felines as test subjects, not human subjects. Other studies that have used near infrared radiation to stimulate retinal cells as visible light is not powerful enough to create adequate stimulation (Hierzenberger et al., 1999). Additionally, there have been methods which attempt to resolve blindness employing electrical stimulation of the retina using an epiretinal electrode array and conclude that microelectrode arrays can stimulate human retinas invoking visual perceptions in blind patients (Bornfeld et al., 2012). Overall, there has been a plethora of different methods over the past few decades used to stimulate the retinas in order to improve or enable vision in patients with poor or no eyesight. In more recent years, it has been demonstrated that not only are retinal implants safe for use in humans, but they are also economically viable for most patients.



Retinal Implants, Eye prosthetics, Retinas