Zrenner Lab

Experimental Retinal Prosthetics Group

Microelectrode array-based classification of mouse retinal ganglion cells.

The retina sends many different channels of visiual information to the brain - photo by Frida Bredesen on Unsplash.com, graphic with assistance from Regina Ebenhoch, University Eye Hospital Tübingen

The retina has many parallel information processing channels. As a result, the ganglion cells which pass information to the brain consist of dozens of different types [c.f. Baden et al. 2016 Nature]. All the ganglion cells of a single type constitute a visual information channel; and each of these channels carries a different message about the visual world to the brain (see Figure). Ensuring that bionic retinal implants fully exploit this diversity of information channels has been a long-term goal of bionic vision research.

In this project, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) coding diversity is quantified by recording simultaneously from large populations of RGCs in the mouse retina using a microelectrode array (MEA). The spiking responses to a standardized set of visual stimuli are parameterized and projected into a high-dimensional space to be clustered according to RGC type. Based on this population clustering, a visual characterization toolbox is being developed to categorize individual RGCs. This toolbox will be the enabling tool for testing RGC type-specific activation through the presentation of specially designed electrical stimulation patterns.

PartnerRathbun, Hosseinzadeh, Sadeghi
T. Euler www.eye-tuebingen.de/eulerlab/
P. Berens www.eye-tuebingen.de/berenslab/
Dates2016 – ongoing
Funding InsititutionBundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung [FKZ: 031 A 308], through e:Bio – Innovationswettbewerb Systembiologie


  • Preliminary experiments have been conducted and we are currently comparing these extracellular spike train response to the calcium signal-based RGC categories published in [Baden et al. 2016 Nature