Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Preferential modulation of individual retinal ganglion cells by electrical stimulation
    Yunzab, M ; Soto-Breceda, A ; Maturana, M ; Kirkby, S ; Slattery, M ; Newgreen, A ; Meffin, H ; Kameneva, T ; Burkitt, AN ; Ibbotson, M ; Tong, W (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2022-08-01)
    Objective.Retinal prostheses have had limited success in vision restoration through electrical stimulation of surviving retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the degenerated retina. This is partly due to non-preferential stimulation of all RGCs near a single stimulating electrode, which include cells that conflict in their response properties and their contribution to visiual processing. Our study proposes a stimulation strategy to preferentially stimulate individual RGCs based on their temporal electrical receptive fields (tERFs).Approach.We recorded the responses of RGCs using whole-cell patch clamping and demonstrated the stimulation strategy, first using intracellular stimulation, then via extracellular stimulation.Main results. We successfully reconstructed the tERFs according to the RGC response to Gaussian white noise current stimulation. The characteristics of the tERFs were extracted and compared based on the morphological and light response types of the cells. By re-delivering stimulation trains that were composed of the tERFs obtained from different cells, we could preferentially stimulate individual RGCs as the cells showed lower activation thresholds to their own tERFs.Significance.This proposed stimulation strategy implemented in the next generation of recording and stimulating retinal prostheses may improve the quality of artificial vision.
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    Feasibility of Nitrogen Doped Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Microelectrodes for Electrophysiological Recording From Neural Tissue
    Wong, YT ; Ahnood, A ; Maturana, M ; Kentler, W ; Ganesan, K ; Grayden, DB ; Meffin, H ; Prawer, S ; Ibbotson, MR ; Burkitt, AN (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-06-22)
    Neural prostheses that can monitor the physiological state of a subject are becoming clinically viable through improvements in the capacity to record from neural tissue. However, a significant limitation of current devices is that it is difficult to fabricate electrode arrays that have both high channel counts and the appropriate electrical properties required for neural recordings. In earlier work, we demonstrated nitrogen doped ultrananocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD) can provide efficacious electrical stimulation of neural tissue, with high charge injection capacity, surface stability and biocompatibility. In this work, we expand on this functionality to show that N-UNCD electrodes can also record from neural tissue owing to its low electrochemical impedance. We show that N-UNCD electrodes are highly flexible in their application, with successful recordings of action potentials from single neurons in an in vitro retina preparation, as well as local field potential responses from in vivo visual cortex tissue. Key properties of N-UNCD films, combined with scalability of electrode array fabrication with custom sizes for recording or stimulation along with integration through vertical interconnects to silicon based integrated circuits, may in future form the basis for the fabrication of versatile closed-loop neural prostheses that can both record and stimulate.
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    Electrical receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells: Influence of presynaptic neurons
    Maturana, MI ; Apollo, NV ; Garrett, DJ ; Kameneva, T ; Cloherty, SL ; Grayden, DB ; Burkitt, AN ; Ibbotson, MR ; Meffin, H ; Fine, I (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2018-02)
    Implantable retinal stimulators activate surviving neurons to restore a sense of vision in people who have lost their photoreceptors through degenerative diseases. Complex spatial and temporal interactions occur in the retina during multi-electrode stimulation. Due to these complexities, most existing implants activate only a few electrodes at a time, limiting the repertoire of available stimulation patterns. Measuring the spatiotemporal interactions between electrodes and retinal cells, and incorporating them into a model may lead to improved stimulation algorithms that exploit the interactions. Here, we present a computational model that accurately predicts both the spatial and temporal nonlinear interactions of multi-electrode stimulation of rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The model was verified using in vitro recordings of ON, OFF, and ON-OFF RGCs in response to subretinal multi-electrode stimulation with biphasic pulses at three stimulation frequencies (10, 20, 30 Hz). The model gives an estimate of each cell's spatiotemporal electrical receptive fields (ERFs); i.e., the pattern of stimulation leading to excitation or suppression in the neuron. All cells had excitatory ERFs and many also had suppressive sub-regions of their ERFs. We show that the nonlinearities in observed responses arise largely from activation of presynaptic interneurons. When synaptic transmission was blocked, the number of sub-regions of the ERF was reduced, usually to a single excitatory ERF. This suggests that direct cell activation can be modeled accurately by a one-dimensional model with linear interactions between electrodes, whereas indirect stimulation due to summated presynaptic responses is nonlinear.