Development of a Learning Epi-retinal Retina Implant*)
Eckmiller R. et al.**)
Universität Bonn, Abteilung Neuroinformatik, Bonn
Purpose: The efforts of our EPI-RET team**) towards a visual prosthesis for a group of blind subjects to regain vision including a certain level of Ge-stalt perception attempt to bypass the defective retinal information process-ing by means of an extra-ocular, learning retina encoder and an implanted microcontact foil adjacent to the retinal output layer.
Method: The intra-retinal, receptive field (RF)-type information processing was simulated by means of a retina encoder (RE) with spatiotemporal filters (ST-filters) and methods for individual RE tuning in a perception-based dia-log with the human subject. The entire learning retina implant consists of RE outside the eye and an implanted retina stimulator (RS). RS is designed to be epi-retinally implanted, adjacent to the ganglion cell layer as soft mi-crocontact foil with a receiver segment inside the lense capsule and a stimulator segment with stimulation electronics and microcontact array. The wireless signal- and energy transmission system (SE) to establish signal- and energy transfer between RE an RS consists of an external transmitter segment connected with RE and an implanted receiver segment.
Results: A) The RE technology including dialog-based learning algo-rithms was successfully developed and tested in humans with normal vi-sion. B) The SE technology was successfully developed, microminiatur-ised, and tested in animal experiments. C) The RS technology was suc-cessfully develo
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