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Three test subjects blind from retinitis pigmentosa were implanted with retinal prostheses as part of a FDA-approved clinical trial. The implant consisted of an extraocular unit that contained electronics for wireless data, power, and generation of stimulus current, and an intraocular unit that consisted of 16 platinum stimulating electrodes arranged in a 4 × 4 pattern within a silicone rubber substrate. The array was held to the retina by a small tack. The stimulator was connected to the array by a multiwire cable and was controlled by a computer based external system that allowed precise control over each electrode. Perception thresholds and electrode impedance were obtained on each electrode from the subjects over several months of testing. The electrode distance from the retina was determined from optical coherence tomography imaging of the array and retina. Across all subjects, average thresholds ranged from 24-702 μA (1-ms pulse). The data show that proximity to the retina played a role in determining the threshold and impedance, but only for electrodes that were greater than 0.5 mm from the retina.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:13 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: June 2005