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Optobionic vision-a new genetically enhanced light on retinal prosthesis

Degenaar, P. and Grossman, N. and Memon, M.A. and Burrone, J. and Dawson, M.D. and Drakakis, E.M. and Neil, M. and Nikolic, K. (2009) Optobionic vision-a new genetically enhanced light on retinal prosthesis. Journal of Neural Engineering, 6 (3). 035007.

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Abstract

The recent discovery that neurons call be photostimulated via genetic incorporation of artificial opsins is creating a revolution in the field of neural stimulation. In this paper we show its potential in the field of retinal prosthesis. We show that we need typically 100 mW cm(-2) in instantaneous light intensity on the neuron in order to stimulate action potentials. We also show how this can be reduced down to safe levels in order to negate thermal and photochromic damage to the eye. We also describe a gallium nitride LED light Source which is also able to generate patterns of the required intensity in order to transfer reliable images.