Photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film as a prototype of retinal prostheses

Akihito Uji, Toshihiko Matsuo, Sanae Ishimaru, Akiko Kajiura, Kaoru Shimamura, Hiroshi Ohtsuki, Yasufumi Dan-Oh, Sadaharu Suga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Photoelectric dyes, which absorb light and convert photon energy to electric potentials, have been previously shown to stimulate retinal neurons in culture. In this study, a photoelectric dye was coupled to a polyethylene film surface and tested in vitro using retinal tissues from chick embryos at the 12-day embryonic stage, at which time outer segments of retinal photoreceptor cells have not yet developed. Carboxyl moieties were introduced to a polyethylene film surface by fuming nitric acid, and then a photoelectric dye, 2-[2-[4-(dibutylamino)phenyl]ethenyl]-3-carboxymethylbenzothiazolium bromide, was coupled to the film through amide linkage. Intracellular calcium elevation was observed with Fluo-4 in retinal tissues placed on the dye-coupled polyethylene film, in contrast to retinal tissues which had no contact with the film. The response was inhibited by calcicludine, a voltage-gated calcium channel blocker, and also by extracellular calcium depletion. The photoelectric dye, coupled to the polyethylene film surface, absorbed light under a dissecting microscope and stimulated neurons in retinal tissues, showing that the dye-coupled film could be used as a prototype of retinal prostheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Chick retina
  • Fluo-4
  • Intracellular calcium
  • Photoelectric dye
  • Pigment
  • Polyethylene film
  • Retinal implant
  • Retinal prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Uji, A., Matsuo, T., Ishimaru, S., Kajiura, A., Shimamura, K., Ohtsuki, H., Dan-Oh, Y., & Suga, S. (2005). Photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film as a prototype of retinal prostheses. Artificial Organs, 29(1), 53-57.