Device and Method for Restoration of Sight through Patterned Thalamic Microstimulation.

Summary This technology aims to restore sight in people who are blind due to disease or injury by placing an electrode implant in a part of the vision system known as the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Unlike other visual prostheses in development, this new approach could make it possible to treat blindness even when the entire eye is damaged. The investigators showed that microstimulation of the dorsal LGN of the thalamus can generate localized visual percepts in alert monkeys. To assess electrically generated percepts, an eye-movement task was used with targets presented on a computer screen (optically) or through microstimulation of the lateral geniculate nucleus (electrically). Saccades (fast, direct eye movements) made to electrical targets were comparable to saccades made to optical targets. Gaze locations for electrical targets were well predicted by measured visual response maps of cells at the electrode tips. Microstimulation produced predictable visual percepts, showing that this technique may be useful for a visual prosthesis.

Applications The invention addresses a large, unmet need to treat injury and disease-related blindness, including macular degeneration, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma. Although estimates vary, there are approximately 1.3 million individuals who are blind in the US. Currently, about 1.8M million people suffer from advanced AMD, while 4MM individuals have diabetic retinopathy (Archives of Ophthalmology, 2004). For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Katie Gordon Email: katherine_gordon@hms.harvard.edu Telephone: (617) 432-0920

Inventor(s): Reid, R. Clay

Type of Offer: Licensing



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