We have developed a photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film as a prototype of retinal prosthesis, which we named Okayama University-type retinal prosthesis. The purposes of this study are to conduct behavior tests to assess vision in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats that underwent subretinal implantation of the dye-coupled film and to reveal retinal response to the dye-coupled film by immunohistochemistry. Polyethylene films were made of polyethylene powder at refined purity, and photoelectric dyes were coupled to the film surface at higher density compared with the prototype. Either dye-coupled film or dye-uncoupled plain film used as a control was implanted subretinally from a scleral incision in both eyes of an RCS rat at 6 weeks of the age. Behavior tests 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after implantation were conducted by observing head turning or body turning in the direction consistent with clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of a black-and-white-striped drum around a transparent cage housed with the rat. After the behavior tests at 8 weeks, rats' eyes were enucleated to confirm subretinal implantation of the films and processed for immunohistochemistry. In the behavior tests, the number of head turnings consistent with the direction of the drum rotation was significantly larger in RCS rats with dye-coupled- compared with plain-film implantation [P < 0.05, repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA), n = 7]. The number of apoptotic neurons was significantly smaller in eyes with dye-coupled- compared with plain-film implantation (P < 0.05, Mann-Whitney U test, n = 6). In conclusion, subretinal implantation of photoelectric dye-coupled films restored vision in RCS rats and prevented the remaining retinal neurons from apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Artificial Organs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • Behavior test
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Photoelectric dye
  • Polyethylene film
  • RCS rat
  • Retinal prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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