Plenty for the experts to discuss

Retinal implants are an exciting topic for retina specialists from all over the world. This was reflected in the in-depth discussions on the developments by Reutlingen-based Retina Implant AG at the 17th EURETINA Congress, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 7 to 10 September this year. EURETINA (European Society of Retina Specialists) is a non-profit organisation that promotes the sharing of ideas and expertise among European scientists and doctors specialising in vitreoretinal and macular diseases of the retina. The annual EURETINA Congress is regarded as an important forum for European retina specialists, who use it first and foremost as an opportunity to discuss the latest studies and technologies.

The subretinal implant by Retina Implant AG can partially restore the sight of blind people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Patients with an implanted chip have identified light sources such as windows and lamps, thus enabling them to find their way around a room again. Professor Eberhart Zrenner presented the second generation of the chip – the RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS – to his peers in a paper entitled “Results of a multicenter trial with the new electronic subretinal implant Alpha AMS in 15 blind RP patients”.

“Our implant is the result of 20 years of research. Sharing information and ideas with retina specialists around the world is extremely important for further development. As a result of CE certification, our method is now already available in Europe for various forms of degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa,” explained Reinhard Rubow, CEO of Retina Implant AG, following the lively discussion about the pros and cons of retinal implants in the Amsterdam debate on whether such implants are a realistic solution for blindness. “Our microchip is only about 12 square millimetres in size – similar to that of a camera – and is placed directly below the small pit at the back of the eye responsible for sharp vision. Its photodiodes can then partially replace the photoreceptors destroyed by the retinitis pigmentosa.”