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Review
, 50, 89-107

The Argus(®) II Retinal Prosthesis System

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Review

The Argus(®) II Retinal Prosthesis System

Yvonne Hsu-Lin Luo et al. Prog Retin Eye Res.

Abstract

The Argus(®) II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products) is the first prosthetic vision device to obtain regulatory approval in both Europe and the USA. As such it has entered the commercial market as a treatment for patients with profound vision loss from end-stage outer retinal disease, predominantly retinitis pigmentosa. To date, over 100 devices have been implanted worldwide, representing the largest group of patients currently treated with visual prostheses. The system works by direct stimulation of the relatively preserved inner retina via epiretinal microelectrodes, thereby replacing the function of the degenerated photoreceptors. Visual information from a glasses-mounted video camera is converted to a pixelated image by an external processor, before being transmitted to the microelectrode array at the macula. Elicited retinal responses are then relayed via the normal optic nerve to the cortex for interpretation. We reviewed the animal and human studies that led to the development of the Argus(®) II device. A sufficiently robust safety profile was demonstrated in the phase I/II clinical trial of 30 patients. Improvement of function in terms of orientation and mobility, target localisation, shape and object recognition, and reading of letters and short unrehearsed words have also been shown. There remains a wide variability in the functional outcomes amongst the patients and the factors contributing to these performance differences are still unclear. Future developments in terms of both software and hardware aimed at improving visual function have been proposed. Further experience in clinical outcomes is being acquired due to increasing implantation.

Keywords: Artificial retina; Retinal dystrophy; Retinal prosthesis; Retinitis pigmentosa; Visual prosthesis.

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