Please read this article about our publication on grounbraking progress in retinal implant research: Retina-Implant Publication
Listen to the german radio feature about the Retina Implant chip and to an interview with its co-inventor Prof. Eberhart Zrenner or download the radio show as mp3-file - the segment about the Retina Implant Chips starts at 10:58 [min:sec].
German publication in "Der Ophthalmologe": Was kÃ¶nnen blinde Patienten mit dem subretinalen Alpha-IMS-Implantat im Alltag sehen?
Clinical Pilot Study
Worldwide there are about 20 groups working on the development of electronic devices that are intended to replace lost visual functions of the retina. Besides trials to connect electronic devices in animals directly to the brain or to the optic nerve, the concepts presently applied in patients with retinitis pigmentosa include microelectrode arrays that are positioned epiretinally "on top" of the retina or subretinally beneath the retina. These devices stimulate neurons that are still surviving in sufficient numbers even many years after blindness has developed.
Presently, there are four ongoing clinical studies from different groups, one in the United States and three in Germany. The epiretinal studies include microelectrode arrays equipped with up to 64 electrodes that receive information from camera devices outside the eye. The subretinal device developed in TÃ¼bingen carries 1500 microphotodiodes and amplifiers directly beneath the retina and transforms the natural image in the eye directly into a corresponding pattern of electrical signals.
Since 1995 the Centre for Ophthalmology, Tuebingen, Germany (Prof. Dr. E. Zrenner, Director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research) has been developing and testing a subretinal chip in animals for biocompatibility, biostability, safety, and efficacy.
The know-how gained by this research and protected by worldwide property rights was transferred to the medical engineering company Retina Implant AG, Reutlingen, now responsible for production, sponsorship of the clinical study, and worldwide distribution of the subretinal implant. Several research institutes cooperate with the Centre for Ophthalmology in this interdisciplinary endeavour (SUBRET Consortium).
In 2005, within the scope of a clinical pilot study led by Prof. Zrenner, the first retinal chips were inserted temporarily in blind persons at the University of Tuebingen. Until now 11 patients have received a subretinal chip. After refinement, future generations of implants will be implanted permanently.
How does the subretinal chip work?
How and where is the subretinal chip implanted?
Who will be able to participate in future studies? Exclusion criteria?
The present state of the project
Videos illustrating the latest achievements
Prof. Dr. med. Eberhart Zrenner
Institute for Ophthalmic Research
Schleichstr. 12-16, D - 72076 Tuebingen, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 7071-29 84786, for patients exclusively +49 (0) 7071 29-83736, Fax: +49 (0) 7071 - 29 5038
Email: ezrenner [at] uni-tuebingen [dot] de
Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Wilhelm
Head of the Steinbeis Centre for Biomedical Optics and Function Testing
Phone: +49 (0) 7071-29 84898, Fax: +49 (0) 7071 - 29 5021
Email: barbara [dot] wilhelm [at] med [dot] uni-tuebingen [dot] de
For general or technical project information you may also contact the
Retina Implant AG:
Dr. Walter-Gerhard Wrobel (CEO, Chairman Managing Board)
Reinhard Rubow, (CFO, Managing Head Human Resources and Administration)
Email: info [at] retina-implant [dot] de
Or go to http://www.retina-implant.de for current information.