Vision: Optogenetics Addressing AMD Diseases

Handbook of Neuroengineering(2023)

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Optogenetic approach for vision restoration involves conferring light sensitivity to surviving inner retinal cells by injecting a viral vector carrying optogenetic tools. This approach provides exciting therapeutic perspectives to a less invasive vision restoration to patients suffering from retinal degenerative diseases. Stimulation with light also offers better spatial and temporal resolution comparing to the conventional electrical stimulation in retinal prosthesis implants. Despite many proof-of-concept studies that validated the possibility of restoring vision using optogenetic technique, both in vitro and in vivo, there are still many challenges to overcome in order to achieve a functional optogenetic vision restoration approach. This chapter introduces the basic anatomy and functionality of human eye and the most common retinal degenerative diseases. Here, we summarize optogenetic approach for vision restoration, outline the corresponding challenges, and review the current progress toward achieving optogenetic vision restoration solution that can better mimic natural vision. Although most studies so far have focused on restoring vision to patients with age-related macular degeneration, further insights into foveal vision restoration strategies for age-related macular degeneration has been provided.
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