Article ID: 17-0422
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 for subretinal film implantation and to examine functional durability of films in subretinal space. Dye-coupled films were implanted subretinally by vitrectomy in the right eye of normal white rabbits: 8 rabbits for 1 month and 8 rabbits for 6 months. The implanted films were removed by vitrectomy in 4 of these 8 rabbits in 1-month or 6-month implantation group. The films were also implanted in 4 rhodopsin-transgenic retinal dystrophic rabbits. Visual evoked potential was measured before film implantation as well as 1 month or 6 months after film implantation, or 1 month after film removal. The films were successfully implanted in subretinal space of retinal detachment induced by subretinal fluid injection with a 38G polyimide tip. The retina was reattached by fluid-air exchange in vitreous cavity, retinal laser coagulation, and silicone oil injection. The ratios of P2 amplitudes of visual evoked potential in the implanted right eye over control left eye did not show significant changes between pre-implantation and post-implantation or post-removal (paired t-test). In Kelvin probe measurements, 4 pieces each of removed films which were implanted for 1 month or 6 months showed sequential increase of surface electric potential in response to increasing light intensity. The film implantation was safe and implanted films were capable of responding to light.