Retinal prosthesis

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2005;7:361-401. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.7.060804.100435.


Retinal prostheses represent the best near-term hope for individuals with incurable, blinding diseases of the outer retina. On the basis of the electrical activation of nerves, prototype retinal prostheses have been tested in blind humans and have demonstrated the capability to elicit the sensation of light and to give test subjects the ability to detect motion. To improve the visual function in implant recipients, a more sophisticated device is required. Simulations suggest that 600-1000 pixels will be required to provide visual function such as face recognition and reading. State-of-the-art implantable stimulator technology cannot produce such a device, which mandates the advancement of the state of the art in areas such as analog microelectronics, wireless power and data transfer, packaging, and stimulating electrodes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering / instrumentation
  • Biomedical Engineering / methods*
  • Blindness / therapy
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Humans
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Retina / anatomy & histology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retinal Degeneration / therapy
  • Retinal Diseases / therapy*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted