Carbon nanotube electrodes for retinal implants: A study of structural and functional integration over time

Cyril G. Eleftheriou, Jonas B. Zimmermann, Henrik D. Kjeldsen, Moshe David-Pur, Yael Hanein, Evelyne Sernagor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The choice of electrode material is of paramount importance in neural prosthetic devices. Electrodes must be biocompatible yet able to sustain repetitive current injections in a highly corrosive environment. We explored the suitability of carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes to stimulate retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a mouse model of outer retinal degeneration. We investigated morphological changes at the bio-hybrid interface and changes in RGC responses to electrical stimulation following prolonged in vitro coupling to CNT electrodes. We observed gradual remodelling of the inner retina to incorporate CNT assemblies. Electrophysiological recordings demonstrate a progressive increase in coupling between RGCs and the CNT electrodes over three days, characterized by a gradual decrease in stimulation thresholds and increase in cellular recruitment. These results provide novel evidence for time-dependent formation of viable bio-hybrids between CNTs and the retina, demonstrating that CNTs are a promising material for inclusion in retinal prosthetic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-121
Number of pages14
JournalBiomaterials
Volume112
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)
  • Glia
  • Inner limiting membrane (ILM)
  • Multi electrode array (MEA)
  • Prosthesis
  • Retina

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