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A CMOS active pixel sensor for retinal stimulation

Prydderch, ML and French, MJ and Mathieson, K and Adams, C and Gunning, D and Laudanski, J and Morrison, JD and Moodie, AR and Sinclair, J (2006) A CMOS active pixel sensor for retinal stimulation. In: Conference on Sensors, Cameras and Systems for Scientific/Industrial Applications, 2006-01-17 - 2006-01-19.

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Degenerative photoreceptor diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, are the most common causes of blindness in the western world. A potential cure is to use a microelectronic retinal prosthesis to provide electrical stimulation to the remaining healthy retinal cells. We describe a prototype CMOS Active Pixel Sensor capable of detecting a visual scene and translating it into a train of electrical pulses for stimulation of the retina. The sensor consists of a 10 x 10 array of 100 micron square pixels fabricated on a 0.35 micron CMOS process. Light incident upon each pixel is converted into output current pulse trains with a frequency related to the light intensity. These outputs are connected to a biocompatible microelectrode array for contact to the retinal cells. The flexible design allows experimentation with signal amplitudes and frequencies in order to determine the most appropriate stimulus for the retina. Neural processing in the retina can be studied by using the sensor in conjunction with a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) programmed to behave as a neural network. The sensor has been integrated into a test system designed for studying retinal response. We present the most recent results obtained from this sensor.