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Folate-Modified Photoelectric Responsive Polymer Microarray as Bionic Artificial Retina to Restore Visual Function

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journal contribution
posted on 12.06.2020, 18:03 by Zheng-Hang Yu, Wei-Jian Chen, Xi Liu, Qiu-Yu Xia, Yi-Nuo Yang, Mei Dong, Jia-Hao Liu, Huai-Jin Guan, Cheng Sun, Fu-De Feng, Qun-Dong Shen
A high-optical-resolution artificial retina system that accurately communicates with the optic nerve is the main challenge in the modern biological science and bionic field. Here, we developed a bionic artificial retina possessing phototransduction “cells” with measurements even smaller than that of the neural cells. Using the technique of micrometer processing, we constructed a pyramid-shape periodic microarray of a photoreceptor. Each “sensing cell” took advantage of polythiophene derivative/fullerene derivative (PCBM) as a photoelectric converter. Because folic acid played an essential role in eye growth, we particularly modified the polythiophene derivatives with folic acid tags. Therefore, the artificial retina could enlarge the contact area and even recognize the nerve cells to improve the consequence of nerve stimulation. We implanted the artificial retina into blinded rats’ eyes. Electrophysiological analysis revealed its recovery of photosensitive function 3 months after surgery. Our work provides an innovative idea for fabricating a high-resolution bionic artificial retina system. It shows great potential in artificial intelligence and biomedicine.