Artificial Retina Based on Organic Materials

A team including JKU researchers has developed organic pigments able to convert light into neutron-stimulating electrochemical signals.

[Translate to Englisch:] Univ.-Prof. Sariciftci

Blind individuals could gain partial eyesight with artificial retinas. A new system based on organic dyes has been created and as researchers have now reported in the journal "Advanced Materials", scientists have succeeded in using light to stimulate neurons in the retinas of chicken embryos.

Previous implants have only been able to distinguish between light and dark at best and they are also hard, making it difficult to implant in the body. Electronics based on organic materials as developed at the Institute of Organic Solar Cells at the University of Linz can, however, be both soft and biocompatible thus optimal to implant in the body.  Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci, department head and the study’s initiator and co-author, remarked, "Although organic solar cells are our core field, the retina does basically the same thing by turning light into electricity."

Cooperation partners include the University of Linköping (Sweden) and the University of Tel Aviv (Israel).