Scientists have created the retina of the polymer




Scientists have created the retina of the polymer

Scientists have found a way to restore the sight of people with degenerative disease of the retina. In this case, they were helped photovoltaic polymers.

Pigmentary retinal degeneration accompanied by a lesion inside the eye, leading to loss of peripheral vision. Photosensitive cells stop working or die. Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa believe that this problem can be solved by implanting in the retina of the organic polymer that converts light into electrical impulses. The polymer does not need a power supply, without which today can not do artificial limbs. The study was published in the journal Nature Photonics.

In this area are active and other research institutions. Their implants – is the electrode matrix, which take on the functions of dead or missing cells. But the net of these systems is limited resolution and stiff microchips that are not able to repeat the lining of the eye.

“Whatever the fine was not a silicon wafer, it is not flexible enough. Therefore, the next generation of retinal prostheses can be represented by organic polymers which are capable by the flexibility to cover a large area of ​​the retina ”

– Said Stephen Rose, chief research officer nonprofit foundation to fight blindness (Foundation Fighting Blindness).

It all started in 2011 when a group of Italian researchers led by neuroscientist Fabio Benfenati and specialist materials Guglielmo Lanzani decided to implement “a crazy idea”: try to grow neurons on the surface of photovoltaic polymers, to see whether working on polymer light excite neurons ” . As it turned out empirically, can.

By the way, the neurons – a very beautiful thing. Some neurologists they inspire creativity .

In the new study, the researchers placed the damaged retina to the surface of glass coated with a polymer, and recorded the electrical activity of neurons in the retina, which, under the influence of light send axons (nerve cell process that carries impulses) in the brain. The study showed that the polymer layer reacts to light as an intact retina.

The tests were carried out with an artificial retina daylight, indicating a high potential of the technology in the field of prosthetics. However, while the effectiveness of polymer is lower than the natural photoreceptors. But the study’s authors hope to fix this in the future.

Rats with eye disease passed the first test. Turn the man. Patients suffering from hereditary eye disease, can also help bionic eye .

Tags: Artificial retina , Medicine , Blindness .

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