Prosthetics solution for RP?

Research from Japan’s Okayama University shows photoelectric film can stimulate degenerated retinal tissue, suggesting it could treat retinal disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  

The study, published in Advanced Biomedical Engineering, demonstrated how a photoelectric dye-coupled thin film device generated potential changes in the retinal tissues of rats with retinal dystrophy when exposed to light. 

Research lead, ophthalmologist Dr Matsuo Toshihiko, said the device, Ourep, has prosthetic value in potentially replacing lost photosensitivity in retinal cells. “The study provides direct evidence for the ability of the photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film to elicit electroretinogram-like response and cause potential spikes in degenerative retina.”    

Additional trials using nylon mesh to keep the dystrophic tissues and the multielectrode array detector in closer contact, further demonstrated the photoelectric dye-coupled film was instrumental in boosting electrical impulses within the degenerated retina, said researchers.   

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