Zrenner Lab

Experimental Retinal Prosthetics Group

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In vitro chip setup

The in vitro chip setup project is concerned with using the new Alpha-AMS retinal implant chip in vitro to support clinical translation of basic research findings from our group research. The chip setup is being equipped with a suite of components including: the electrophysiology setup (tungsten single electrode and patch clamp recording) and a customized optical path for both visual stimulation of the chip and visualization of the chip and retinal cells. The main goal of the current project using this setup is to study selective electrical activation of ON and OFF RGCs by the Alpha-AMS implant chip in degenerative mouse retina (for greatest relevance to blind patients) and in healthy mouse retina (to better connect the results to existing knowledge in visual electrophysiology). By proving that pathway-specific activation via the implant is possible, we hope to foster the development of new retinal implants that integrate the natural visual coding used in healthy eyes.

Dates2016 – ongoing
Funding Insititution


The illumination, aperture, and magnification requirements for stimulation of the chip, on the one hand, and cell visualization for patch clamping, on the other, are highly divergent. Consequently, current experiments with the chip setup do not include patch clamp recordings. A separate rig is being optimized by Dr. Hosseinzadeh for high-quality retinal patch clamp recordings. Once operational, this patch clamp setup will be adapted to also support visual stimulation of the retina via the implant chip.