Implantable Neurostimulation Devices for Artificial Vision


Event details

Date and time 06.05.2021 10:0011:00  
Place and room
via Zoom web-streaming only, due to Covid-19 pandemic
Speaker Prof. Diego Ghezzi, Institute of Bioengineering and Center for Neuroprosthetics, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)
Category Conferences - Seminars

Neuroprosthetics is an interdisciplinary area of research bringing together engineering, computer science and medicine to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. In neuroprosthetics, neurostimulation plays a crucial role, and innovation in implantable neurostimulation devices is important to address unmet clinical needs. My laboratory tackled this challenge by developing innovative implantable neural prostheses for blindness.

In this seminar, I will present my group's research achievements in designing and validating novel visual prostheses for artificial vision.

First, I will describe a novel retinal implant. POLYRETINA is a high-density and wide-field photovoltaic prosthesis that contains ten thousand photovoltaic pixels covering a visual angle of 43 degrees. High-resolution stimulation combined with the wide retinal coverage make POLYRETINA a prosthesis that could offer artificial vision for reliable object recognition, obstacle detection and safe ambulation, crucial abilities for totally blind people to be independent.

In the second part of the talk, I will describe another novel visual prosthesis based on intra-neural stimulation of the optic nerve. OpticSELINE is an intraneural 3D electrode array capable of selectively activating the optic nerve fibres to induce artificial vision. This technology is essential for patients not eligible to be implanted with retinal prosthesis because of exclusion criteria. I will present the results from our in vivo preclinical trial in large animals.

Lastly, I will anticipate how our current and future research will lead to novel neuroprosthetics approaches for blindness and other neurological disorders.

Prof. Diego Ghezzi holds the Medtronic Chair in Neuroengineering at the School of Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (LNE). He received his M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering (2004) and Ph.D. in Bioengineering (2008) from Politecnico di Milano (Italy). From 2008 to 2013, he completed his postdoctoral training at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova (Italy) at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies; where he was promoted to Researcher in 2013. In 2015, he was appointed as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the EPFL Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering.

Zoom link for attending remotely:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar can only be followed online.