Researchers from the University of Oregon have taken rodent retinal neurons and gorwn them on an electrode that is fractal-patterened. The result of the experiment, according to the researchers, brings them closer the dream of being able to produce a bio-inspired bionic eye. One day, the blind might see thanks to grown bionic eyes, or maybe sighted people will exchange their old eyes for new better eyes. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades over my new bionic rodent eyes.
Researchers have grown rodent retinal neurons on a fractal-patterned electrode, one that mimics the repeating branching pattern in which neurons naturally grow.
It’s a step closer to making a bio-inspired bionic eye, a longstanding goal for University of Oregon physicist Richard Taylor.
Taylor hopes the tiny electrodes could someday be implanted into the eye to restore sight in people with macular degeneration or other vision disorders.
The new work provides experimental evidence supporting a hunch his team has been pursuing for years, that neurons, which themselves are fractals, will connect better to a fractal-patterned electrode than they do to more traditionally shaped electrodes, allowing better signal transmission between the implant and the brain.