Efficacy of electrical stimulation of retinal ganglion cells with temporal patterns resembling light-evoked spike trains

Raymond C. S. Wong, David J. Garrett, David B. Grayden, Michael R. Ibbotson, Shaun L. Cloherty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


People with degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa lose most of their photoreceptors but retain a significant proportion (~30%) of their retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Microelectronic retinal prostheses aim to bypass the lost photoreceptors and restore vision by directly stimulating the surviving RGCs. Here we investigate the extent to which electrical stimulation of RGCs can evoke neural spike trains with statistics resembling those of normal visually-evoked responses. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from individual cat RGCs in vitro. We first recorded the responses of each cell to short sequences of visual stimulation. These responses were converted to trains of electrical stimulation that we then presented to the same cell via an epiretinal stimulating electrode. We then quantified the efficacy of the electrical stimuli and the latency of the evoked spikes. In all cases, spikes were evoked with sub-millisecond latency (0.55 ms, median, ON cells, n = 8; 0.75 ms, median, OFF cells, n = 6) and efficacy ranged from 0.4-1.0 (0.79, median, ON cells; 0.97, median, OFF cells). These data demonstrate that meaningful spike trains, resembling normal responses of RGCs to visual stimulation, can be reliably evoked by epiretinal prostheses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
EditorsJeff Duerk, Jim Ji
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781424479290
ISBN (Print)9781424479276
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2014 - Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, United States of America
Duration: 26 Aug 201430 Aug 2014
Conference number: 36th
https://ieeexplore-ieee-org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/xpl/conhome/6923026/proceeding (Proceedings)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140331105330/http://embc.embs.org/2014/?page_id=120 (Website)


ConferenceInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2014
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address

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