Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT; Genoa, Italy) have taken polymer nanoparticles and used them to make the first liquid retina prosthesis for the treatment degenerative retinal blindness.
The team have published their work in Nature Nanotechnology, where they demonstrate how their conjugated polymer nanoparticles, based on hydrogen and carbon, can mediate light-evoked stimulation of retinal neurons and, when tested in rat models of retinitis pigmentosa, effectively rescue visual function.
The nanoparticles are applied in a liquid form via injection and work by spreading over the subretinal space of the eye and directing light to activate inner retinal neurons. In this way, the nanoparticle mimick the activity of healthy photoreceptors.
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