PRIMA subretinal wireless photovoltaic microchip implantation in non-human primate and feline models.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:To evaluate the surgical technique for subretinal implantation of two sizes of PRIMA photovoltaic wireless microchip in two animal models, and refine these surgical procedures for human trials. METHODS:Cats and Macaca fascicularis primates with healthy retina underwent vitrectomy surgery and were implanted with subretinal wireless photovoltaic microchip at the macula/central retina. The 1.5mm PRIMA chip was initially studied in feline eyes. PRIMA implant (2mm,1.5mm sizes) arrays were studied in primates. Feasibility of subretinal chip implantation was evaluated with a newly-developed surgical technique, with surgical complications and adverse events recorded. RESULTS:The 1.5mm implant was placed in the central retina of 11 feline eyes, with implantation duration 43-106 days. The 1.5mm implant was correctly positioned into central macula of 11 primate eyes, with follow-up periods of minimum 6 weeks (n = 11), 2 years (n = 2), and one eye for 3 years. One primate eye underwent multi-chip 1.5mm implantation using two 1.5mm chips. The 2mm implant was delivered to 4 primate eyes. Optical coherence tomography confirmed correct surgical placement of photovoltaic arrays in the subretinal space in all 26 eyes. Intraoperative complications in primate eyes included retinal tear, macular hole, retinal detachment, and vitreous hemorrhage that resolved spontaneously. Postoperatively, there was no case of significant ocular inflammation in the 1.5mm implant group. CONCLUSIONS:We report subretinal implantation of 1.5mm and 2mm photovoltaic arrays in the central retina of feline and central macula of primate eyes with a low rate of device-related complications. The in vivo PRIMA implantation technique has been developed and refined for use for a 2mm PRIMA implant in ongoing human trials.
Project description:We have previously developed a wireless photovoltaic retinal prosthesis, in which camera-captured images are projected onto the retina using pulsed near-IR light. Each pixel in the subretinal implant directly converts pulsed light into local electric current to stimulate the nearby inner retinal neurons. Here we report that implants having pixel sizes of 280, 140 and 70 ?m implanted in the subretinal space in rats with normal and degenerate retina elicit robust cortical responses upon stimulation with pulsed near-IR light. Implant-induced eVEP has shorter latency than visible light-induced VEP, its amplitude increases with peak irradiance and pulse duration, and decreases with frequency in the range of 2-20 Hz, similar to the visible light response. Modular design of the arrays allows scalability to a large number of pixels, and combined with the ease of implantation, offers a promising approach to restoration of sight in patients blinded by retinal degenerative diseases.
Project description:PURPOSE:To report the initial efficacy results of the Retina Implant Alpha AMS (Retina Implant AG, Reutlingen, Germany) for partial restoration of vision in end-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). DESIGN:Prospective, single-arm, investigator-sponsored interventional clinical trial. Within-participant control comprising residual vision with the retinal implant switched ON versus OFF in the implanted eye. PARTICIPANTS:The Retina Implant Alpha AMS was implanted into the worse-seeing eye of 6 participants with end-stage RP and no useful perception of light vision. Eligibility criteria included previous normal vision for ?12 years and no significant ocular or systemic comorbidity. METHODS:Vision assessments were scheduled at 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postimplantation. They comprised tabletop object recognition tasks, a self-assessment mobility questionnaire, and screen-based tests including Basic Light and Motion (BaLM), grating acuity, and greyscale contrast discrimination. A full-field stimulus test (FST) was also performed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Improvement in activities of daily living, recognition tasks, and assessments of light perception with the implant ON compared with OFF. RESULTS:All 6 participants underwent successful implantation. Light perception and temporal resolution with the implant ON were achieved in all participants. Light localization was achieved with the implant ON in all but 1 participant (P4) in whom the chip was not functioning optimally because of a combination of iatrogenic intraoperative implant damage and incorrect implantation. Implant ON correct grating detections (which were at chance level with implant OFF) were recorded in the other 5 participants, ranging from 0.1 to 3.33 cycles/degree on 1 occasion. The ability to locate high-contrast tabletop objects not seen with the implant OFF was partially restored with the implant ON in all but 1 participant (P4). There were 2 incidents of conjunctival erosion and 1 inferotemporal macula-on retinal detachment, which were successfully repaired, and 2 incidents of inadvertent damage to the implant during surgery (P3 and P4). CONCLUSIONS:The Alpha AMS subretinal implant improved visual performance in 5 of 6 participants and has exhibited ongoing function for up to 24 months. Although implantation surgery remains challenging, new developments such as OCT microscope guidance added refinements to the surgical technique.
Project description:We present an atypical case of submacular fluid leading to serous macular detachment.A 69-year-old man was evaluated for metamorphopsia in the left eye.Best-corrected visual acuity was 20/25 in both eyes. He had undergone cataract surgeries in both eyes 12 years ago. The axial length was 25.93 mm (OD) and 24.12 mm (OS). Optical coherence tomography showed posterior staphylomas and subretinal fluid on the superior border of the staphylomas in both eyes; in the left eye, submacular fluid was noted extending up to the macula. Fundus fluorescein angiography revealed leakage from the superior border of the staphylomas in both eyes. The fluid persisted for 4 months. Four consecutive, monthly injections of bevacizumab (1.25 mg/0.05 mL) were administered in the left eye; subsequently, the subretinal fluid gradually dissipated from the macula and became localized at the superior border of the staphyloma. This localization persisted for 12 months.We have detailed a case of submacular fluid that spread from the superior border of the posterior staphyloma in a patient with macular detachment, in whom intravitreal injections of bevacizumab were highly effective in eliminating the fluid.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To examine morphological and functional results after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas tamponade due to macula-on and macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) during 6 months of the follow-up. METHODS:The study included 62 eyes that underwent successful PPV with SF6 tamponade with macula-on (34 eyes) and macula-off (28 eyes) RRD preoperatively. The best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), Amsler test, M-charts, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microperimetry were performed at 1, 3 and 6?months postoperatively. RESULTS:Results of the Amsler test were abnormal postoperatively in 54% of the patients in the group with macula-off and in 32% of the patients with macula-on RRD. Horizontal M-charts improved significantly from 0.33 to 0.2, vertical M-charts- from 0.29 to 0.17 during 6?months of the follow-up. There was a significant increase in the central retinal thickness (CRT) and average thickness (AT) between follow-up examinations only in the macula-off group. 29 of 62 eyes (47%) after surgery (equally with macula-on and macula-off RRD) showed morphological changes in OCT in the macular region, as epiretinal membrane, macular edema, subretinal fluid or alterations of the outer layers of the retina. The average threshold in microperimetry increased significantly within both groups during the follow-up. CONCLUSION:Both horizontal and vertical M-charts scores, as were as microperimetry sensitivity improved significantly during the 6?months of the follow-up both in macula-on and macula-off group. Although PPV with SF6 gas tamponade was successful, almost half of eyes revealed anatomical changes in the macular region in OCT both with macula-on and macula-off group. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Current Controlled Trials NCT03902795 registered on 03/04/2019. Retrospectively registered.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Delivery of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products to the submacular space is increasingly evolving into a therapeutic modality. Cell replacement for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and gene therapy for RPE65 are recent successful examples. Herein, a nonhuman primate (NHP) model was used to investigate surgical means to detach the macula.<h4>Methods</h4>Sixteen eyes of 13 healthy macaques underwent a 25-gauge vitrectomy and subretinal injection of balanced salt solution monitored by microscope-integrated intraoperative optical coherence tomography (miOCT). The animals were followed with OCT and histology.<h4>Results</h4>The miOCT monitoring allowed a more precise definition of surgical trauma ranging from an initial full-thickness foveal tear, or induction of a cystoid macular edema (CME), until no foveal defect was discernible, as the technique improved. However, as the subretinal fluid wave detached the fovea, the aforementioned lesions formed, whereas persistent retinal adhesion reproducibly proved to remain in the distal parafoveal semi-annulus. Measures to reduce foveal trauma during submacular fluid injection included reducing intraocular pressure, injection volume, and velocity, as well as the retinal location for bleb initiation, use of a vitreous tamponade, and a dual-bore subretinal cannula.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A stable very low intraocular pressure and careful subretinal injection may avoid tangential macular stretching or mechanical CME formation, while vitreous tamponade may facilitate a more lamellar subretinal flow, all thereby reducing foveal trauma during submacular injection in NHP.<h4>Translational relevance</h4>These results can be relevant to any submacular surgery procedure used today, as they synergistically reduce the risk of compromising foveal integrity.
Project description:In hereditary retinal diseases photoreceptors progressively degenerate, often causing blindness without therapy being available. Newly developed subretinal implants can substitute functions of photoreceptors. Retina implant extraocular surgical technique relies strongly on cochlear-implant know-how. However, a completely new surgical approach providing safe handling of the photosensor array had to be developed. The Retina Implant Alpha IMS consisting of a subretinal microphotodiode array and cable linked to a cochlear-implant-like ceramic housing was introduced via a retroauricular incision through a subperiosteal tunnel above the zygoma into the orbit using a specially designed trocar. Implant housing was fixed in a bony bed within a tight subperiosteal pocket in all patients. Primary outcomes were patient short term safety as well as effectiveness. Nine patients participated in the first part of the multicenter trial and received the subretinal visual implant in one eye. In all cases microphotodiode array pull-through procedure and stable positioning were possible without affecting the device function. No intraoperative complications were encountered. The minimally invasive suprazygomatic tunneling technique for the sensor unit as well as a subperiosteal pocket fixation of the implant housing provides a safe extraocular implantation approach of a subretinal device with a transcutaneous extracorporeal power supply.
Project description:Subretinal fibrosis is directly related to severe visual loss, especially if occurs in the macula, and is frequently observed in advanced age-related macular degeneration and other refractory eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and uveitis. In this study, we analyzed the immunosuppressive mechanism of subretinal fibrosis using the novel animal model recently demonstrated. Both TLR2 and TLR4 deficient mice showed significant enlargement of subretinal fibrotic area as compared with wild-type mice. A single intraocular administration of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), which is an endogenous ligand for TLR2 and TLR4, inhibited subretinal fibrosis in wild-type mice but not in TLR2 and TLR4-deficient mice. Additionally, HSP70 induced IL-10 production in eyes from wild-type mice but was impaired in both TLR2- and TLR4-deficient mice, indicating that HSP70-TLR2/TLR4 axis plays an immunomodulatory role in subretinal fibrosis. Thus, these results suggest that HSP70-TLR2/TLR4 axis is a new therapeutic target for subretinal fibrosis due to prognostic CNV.
Project description:PurposeSafe and reproducible delivery of gene therapy vector into the subretinal space is essential for successful targeting of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors. The success of surgery is critical for the clinical efficacy of retinal gene therapy. Iatrogenic detachment of the degenerate (often adherent) retina in patients with hereditary retinal degenerations and small volume (eg, 0.1?ml) subretinal injections pose new surgical challenges.MethodsOur subretinal gene therapy technique involved pre-operative planning with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and autofluorescence (AF) imaging, 23?G pars plana vitrectomy, internal limiting membrane staining with Membrane Blue Dual (DORC BV, Zuidland, Netherlands), a two-step subretinal injection using a 41?G Teflon tipped cannula (DORC) first with normal saline to create a parafoveal bleb followed by slow infusion of viral vector via the same self-sealing retinotomy. Surgical precision was further enhanced by intraoperative OCT (Zeiss Rescan 7000, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Jena, Germany). Foveal functional and structural recovery was evaluated using best-corrected Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity, microperimetry and OCT.ResultsTwo patients with choroideremia aged 29 (P1) and 27 (P2) years, who had normal and symmetrical levels of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in both eyes, underwent unilateral gene therapy with the fellow eye acting as internal control. The surgeries were uncomplicated in both cases with successful detachment of the macula by subretinal vector injection. Both treated eyes showed recovery of BCVA (P1: 76-77 letters; P2: 84-88 letters) and mean threshold sensitivity of the central macula (P1: 10.7-10.7?dB; P2: 14.2-14.1?dB) to baseline within a month. This was accompanied by normalisation of central retinal thickness on OCT.ConclusionsHerein we describe a reliable technique for subretinal gene therapy, which is currently used in clinical trials to treat choroideremia using an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding the CHM gene. Strategies to minimise potential complications, such as avoidance of excessive retinal stretch, air bubbles within the injection system, reflux of viral vector and post-operative vitritis are discussed.
Project description:To quantify impressions of mitochondrial translocation in degenerating cones and to determine the nature of accumulated material in the subretinal space with apparent inner segment (IS)-like features by examining cone IS ultrastructure.Human donor eyes with advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were screened for outer retinal tubulation (ORT) in macula-wide, high-resolution digital sections. Degenerating cones inside ORT (ORT cones) and outside ORT (non-ORT cones) from AMD eyes and unaffected cones in age-matched control eyes were imaged using transmission electron microscopy. The distances of mitochondria to the external limiting membrane (ELM), cone IS length, and cone IS width at the ELM were measured.Outer retinal tubulation and non-ORT cones lose outer segments (OS), followed by shortening of IS and mitochondria. In non-ORT cones, IS broaden. Outer retinal tubulation and non-ORT cone IS myoids become undetectable due to mitochondria redistribution toward the nucleus. Some ORT cones were found lacking IS and containing mitochondria in the outer fiber (between soma and ELM). Unlike long, thin IS mitochondria in control cones, ORT and non-ORT IS mitochondria are ovoid or reniform. Shed IS, some containing mitochondria, were found in the subretinal space.In AMD, macula cones exhibit loss of detectable myoid due to IS shortening in addition to OS loss, as described. Mitochondria shrink and translocate toward the nucleus. As reflectivity sources, translocating mitochondria may be detectable using in vivo imaging to monitor photoreceptor degeneration in retinal disorders. These results improve the knowledge basis for interpreting high-resolution clinical retinal imaging.
Project description:The progressive degeneration of retinal photoreceptors is one of the most significant causes of blindness in humans. Conjugated polymers represent an attractive solution to the field of retinal prostheses, and a multi-layer fully organic prosthesis implanted subretinally in dystrophic Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats was able to rescue visual functions. As a step toward human translation, we report here the fabrication and in vivo testing of a similar device engineered to adapt to the human-like size of the eye of the domestic pig, an excellent animal paradigm to test therapeutic strategies for photoreceptors degeneration. The active conjugated polymers were layered onto two distinct passive substrates, namely electro-spun silk fibroin (ESF) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Naive pigs were implanted subretinally with the active device in one eye, while the contralateral eye was sham implanted with substrate only. Retinal morphology and functionality were assessed before and after surgery by means of in vivo optical coherence tomography and full-field electroretinogram (ff-ERG) analysis. After the sacrifice, the retina morphology and inflammatory markers were analyzed by immunohistochemistry of the excised retinas. Surprisingly, ESF-based prostheses caused a proliferative vitreoretinopathy with disappearance of the ff-ERG b-wave in the implanted eyes. In contrast, PET-based active devices did not evoke significant inflammatory responses. As expected, the subretinal implantation of both PET only and the PET-based prosthesis locally decreased the thickness of the outer nuclear layer due to local photoreceptor loss. However, while the implantation of the PET only substrate decreased the ff-ERG b-wave amplitude with respect to the pre-implant ERG, the eyes implanted with the active device fully preserved the ERG responses, indicating an active compensation of the surgery-induced photoreceptor loss. Our findings highlight the possibility of developing a new generation of conjugated polymer/PET-based prosthetic devices that are highly biocompatible and potentially suitable for subretinal implantation in patients suffering from degenerative blindness.