Retinal prosthesis or artificial retina is a promising modality of treatment for outer retinal degeneration, caused by primary and secondary loss of photoreceptor cells, in hereditary retinal dystrophy and age-related macular degeneration, respectively. Okayama University-type retinal prosthesis (OUReP) is a photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film which generates electric potential in response to light and stimulates nearby neurons. The dye-coupled films were implanted by vitreous surgery in the subretinal space of monkey eyes with macular degeneration which had been induced by cobalt chloride injection from the scleral side. A pilot 1-month observation study involved 6 monkeys and a pivotal 6-month observation study involved 8 monkeys. Of 8 monkeys in 6-month group, 3 monkeys underwent dye-coupled film removal at 5 months and were observed further for 1 month. The amplitude of visual evoked potential which had been reduced by macular degeneration did recover at 1 month after film implantation and maintained the level at 6 months. Optical coherence tomography showed no retinal detachment, and full-field electroretinograms maintained a-wave and b-wave amplitudes, indicative of no retinal toxicity. Pathological examinations after 6-month implantation showed structural integrity of the inner retinal layer in close apposition to dye-coupled films. The implanted films which were removed by vitrectomy 5 months later showed light-evoked surface electric potentials by scanning Kelvin probe measurement. The photoelectric dye-coupled film (OUReP), which serves as a light-receiver and a displacement current generator in the subretinal space of the eye, has a potential for recovering vision in diseases with photoreceptor cell loss, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E186-E203
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Dye-coupled thin film retinal prosthesis
  • —Macular degeneration
  • —Monkey
  • —Photoelectric dye
  • —Visual evoked potential
  • —Vitreous surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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