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Researchers from the Italian Institute of technology for the first time were able to create a liquid prosthetic retina. It will help in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and pigmentary retinitis. Article about the discovery published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
New artificial retina is biomimetic and has a high spatial resolution. It consists of a fluid in which suspendirovanie photoactive polymeric nanoparticles with a size of about 350 nanometers, which are able to replace damaged photoreceptors.
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The results of the experiments show that natural light stimulation of nanoparticles causes activation of retinal neurons, mimicking the work of the photoreceptors. Compared to other existing approaches for installing a new liquid conduit requires long surgical operations, which can also lead to injuries.
To install a new denture specialists have to make a few micro-injection of nanoparticles directly under the retina. After the introduction in the retina, these nanoparticles form small aggregates, which are comparable in size to neurons. These units, as shown by experiments, to effectively perform the function of photoreceptors.
“A surgical procedure for subretinal injection of photoactive nanoparticles minimally invasive. It can also be repeated after some time if necessary, — said one of the researchers, Director of the operational unit of ophthalmology hospital Sacro Cuore don Calabria, grace Pertile. — At the same time it retains the advantages of polymer dentures, which are sensitive to light entering the eye and do not require glasses, cameras or external sources of energy.”
The study is based on preclinical models. In the future, scientists plan to conduct experiments to find out whether it is possible to use a liquid prosthesis for the treatment of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
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