gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

The intraocular vision aid (IoVA): first long-term results in rabbits

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author M. Warga - University Eye Hospital, Department 1, Tübingen
  • P. Szurman - University Eye Hospital, Department 1, Tübingen
  • S. Grisanti - University Eye Hospital, Department 1, Tübingen
  • R. Kaczmarek - University Eye Hospital, Department 1, Tübingen
  • K. U. Bartz-Schmidt - University Eye Hospital, Department 1, Tübingen

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogDO.12.12

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Warga et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The development of an Intraocular Vision Aid (IoVA) aims to provide artificial vision in severely traumatized eyes, where neuroretinal function could be preserved, but irreversible opacification and scaring of the cornea and the anterior segment resulted in blindness. A silicone-encapsulated LED array implanted in the capsular bag bridges the opaque cornea and projects an image of the environment onto the intact neuroperceptive retina.


In 13 pigmented rabbits extracapsular lentectomy was performed with different operation techniques and a silicone-encapsulated active LED-array was implanted. The eyes were followed-up for up to 16 months and function of the prosthesis was checked weekly by using an inductive transmission energy supply. Biocompatibility testing comprised electrophysiological investigation of the retina and histological evaluation. To achieve slices of tissue together with the implanted microelectronic components a micro-grinding preparation technique was performed in two eyes.


Stable fixation of the device in the ciliary sulcus was achieved in all cases. Inductive energy transmission and wireless stimulation of the implant could be maintained without functional loss up to 16 months. Electrophysiology showed no difference in the electroretinogram (ERG) between the operated eye and the fellow eye. Histological investigation of the enucleated eye revealed a prolonged moderate inflammatory reaction around the capsular bag for several weeks, but in the long-term no cellular alteration was detectable.


Our results demonstrate the general feasibility to implant and fixate an IoVA for long-term and to establish wireless light stimulation. Biocompatibility and inductive energy transmission to the intraocular device are assured in the long-term and allow for future development of an IoVA with a multi-LED micro array to provide higher spatial resolution.