gms | German Medical Science

Artificial Vision — The 2nd Bonn Dialogue. The International Symposium on Visual Prosthesis

Retina Implant Foundation

19.09.2009, Bonn

The Australian Visual Prosthesis Project

Meeting Abstract

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Artificial Vision – The 2nd Bonn Dialogue. The International Symposium on Visual Prosthesis. Bonn, 19.-19.09.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09ri10

doi: 10.3205/09ri10, urn:nbn:de:0183-09ri109

Published: November 30, 2009

© 2009 Suaning.
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 Australian Vision Prosthesis Group (AVPG), established at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 1997 by the presenter and his co-investigator, Professor Nigel Lovell has grown to become a large, multi-disciplinary team of researchers covering most areas of vision prosthesis research from basic vision science, to mathematical modelling of retinal activation, to the development of novel retinal neuroprostheses. The presentation will provide an overview of the AVPG research and achievements over the past three years and present specific, recent results in the following areas of research:

  • in vivo evidence of localized cortical activation using bipolar stimulation in a hexagonal
  • electrode matrix placed in the supra-choroidal space;
  • improved mathematical models of stimulation of active retinal tissue;
  • in vitro observations in response to subretinal stimulation in the rabbit indicating that response profiles can be generalized into four classes with distinctive properties; and
  • advancements in neuroprosthesis design and fabrication methods – particularly in hermetic encapsulation and electrode tissue interfaces.

Recently the Australian Government has budgeted funding of the order of €25M to be distributed in a competitive grant process to produce a clinical, visual neuroprosthesis within four years. Should the AVPG be a recipient of these funds, capabilities towards human implantation will be substantially improved. Plans for the near future in the context of the recent research outcomes of the AVPG will be described by way of introducing the implant design that is intended to be taken forward to human trials. This device consists of a hybrid system that utilises a behind-the-ear implant similar to that of a cochlear implant that will manage data and power in a bi-directional, inductively-coupled, radio-frequency communications system. The behind-the-ear device is connected by way of a novel, two-wire interface to a substantially smaller, hermetically-sealed neurostimulator circuit connected to 98 stimulation channels placed within the suprachoroidal space. Performance of prototypes in vivo and in vitro shall be described.

This lecture is available as video recording (Attachment 1 [Attach. 1]).