Dec 17, 2014

Chemical stimulation of rat retinal neurons: feasibility of an epiretinal neurotransmitter-based prosthesis

Journal of Neural Engineering
Samsoon InayatLaxman Saggere


No cure currently exists for photoreceptor degenerative diseases, which cause partial or total blindness in millions of people worldwide. Electrical retinal prostheses have been developed by several groups with the goal of restoring vision lost to these diseases, but electrical stimulation has limitations. It excites both somas and axons, activating retinal pathways nonphysiologically, and limits spatial resolution because of current spread. Chemical stimulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) using the neurotransmitter glutamate has been suggested as an alternative to electrical stimulation with some significant advantages. However, sufficient scientific data to support developing a chemical-based retinal prosthesis is lacking. The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility of a neurotransmitter-based retinal prosthesis and determine therapeutic stimulation parameters. We injected controlled amounts of glutamate into rat retinas from the epiretinal side ex vivo via micropipettes using a pressure injection system and recorded RGC responses with a multielectrode array. Responsive units were identified using a spike rate threshold of 3 Hz. We recorded both somal and axonal units and demonstrated successful glutamaterg...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Abnormal Degeneration
Cell Body of Neuron
Retinal Ganglion Cells

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