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Optogenetic Stimulation for Restoring Vision to Patients Suffering from Retinal Degenerative Diseases: Current Strategies and Future Directions.

Authors
  • Montazerijouibari, Leila
  • El Zarif, Nizar
  • Trenholm, Stuart
  • Sawan, Mohamad
Type
Published Article
Journal
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Publisher
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication Date
Nov 04, 2019
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1109/TBCAS.2019.2951298
PMID: 31689206
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Optogenetic strategies for vision restoration involve photosensitizing surviving retinal neurons following retinal degeneration, using emerging optogenetic techniques. This approach opens the door to a minimally-invasive retinal vision restoration approach. Moreover, light stimulation has the potential to offer better spatial and temporal resolution than conventional retinal electrical prosthetics. Although proof-of-concept studies in animal models have demonstrated the possibility of restoring vision using optogenetic techniques, and initial clinical trials are underway, there are still hurdles to pass before such an approach restores naturalistic vision in humans. One limitation is the development of light stimulation devices to activate optogenetic channels in the retina. Here we review recent progress in the design and implementation of optogenetic stimulation devices and outline the corresponding technological challenges. Finally, while most work to date has focused on providing therapy to patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, we provide additional insights into strategies for applying optogenetic vision restoration to patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration.

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