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Single-component, polymer optoelectronic interface to restore retinal light sensitivity

A single-component, polymer optoelectronic interface that restores retinal light sensitivity could be useful in the development of implantable devices to treat blindness. The interface consists of a single-component organic film of poly(3-hexylthiophene) that triggers neuronal firing in response to light. In degenerate rat retina explants lacking photoreceptor cells and cultured on top of the organic film, illumination of the film led to firing in neuronal cells in the retina explant. Next steps could include using the organic film in the development of a device designed to restore vision.

SciBX 6(12); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.299
Published online March 28, 2013

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Ghezzi, D. et al. Nat. Photonics; published online March 17, 2013;
Contact: Fabio Benfenati, Italian Institute of Technology,
Genoa, Italy