Perceptual thresholds and electrode impedance in three retinal prosthesis subjects

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2005 Jun;13(2):201-6. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2005.848687.


Three test subjects blind from retinitis pigmentosa were implanted with retinal prostheses as part of a FDA-approved clinical trial. The implant consisted of an extraocular unit that contained electronics for wireless data, power, and generation of stimulus current, and an intraocular unit that consisted of 16 platinum stimulating electrodes arranged in a 4 x 4 pattern within a silicone rubber substrate. The array was held to the retina by a small tack. The stimulator was connected to the array by a multiwire cable and was controlled by a computer based external system that allowed precise control over each electrode. Perception thresholds and electrode impedance were obtained on each electrode from the subjects over several months of testing. The electrode distance from the retina was determined from optical coherence tomography imaging of the array and retina. Across all subjects, average thresholds ranged from 24-702 microA (1-ms pulse). The data show that proximity to the retina played a role in determining the threshold and impedance, but only for electrodes that were greater than 0.5 mm from the retina.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / etiology
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Blindness / rehabilitation*
  • Differential Threshold*
  • Electric Impedance
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / complications
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / physiopathology
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / rehabilitation
  • Visual Perception*