2017 Volume 79 Issue 12 Pages 1939-1946
Okayama University-type retinal prosthesis (OURePTM) is a photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film which generates electric potential in response to light and stimulates nearby neurons. This study aims to test surgical feasibility of subretinal implantation and functional durability of dye-coupled films in the subretinal space. The dye-coupled films were implanted subretinally by 25-gauge vitrectomy in the right eye of 11 normal beagle dogs: 2 dogs served for film removal after 5-month film implantation, 3 dogs for film removal after 3-month film implantation, 3 dogs for 3-month film implantation and pathological examination, and 3 dogs for sham surgery. The surface electric potential of the removed dye-coupled films in response to light was measured by the Kelvin Probe system. At surgery, rolled-up dye-coupled films in 5 × 5 mm square size could be inserted into subretinal space of retinal detachment induced by fluid injection with a 38-gauge polyimide tip. Retinal attachment was maintained by silicone oil injection in vitreous cavity. At autopsy, the retina in all dogs maintained the ganglion cell layer, inner and outer nuclear layers while it lost the outer segments in some part. All 5 sheets of removed dye-coupled films maintained the dye color. One sheet of the 5-month implanted film showed proportional increase of surface potential in response to increasing light intensity. Subretinal implantation of OURePTM by vitrectomy was technically feasible in canine eyes, and OURePTM maintained the function of generating light-evoked surface potential after 5 months in subretinal implantation.