A group of Italian researchers demonstrated, through a study carried out in visually impaired ratsthat nanoparticles Polymer conjugates have the ability to rescue rodents’ vision for eight months, without the need for surgical intervention.
The study carried out by the Italian Institute of Technology of Genoa It consisted of injecting the tiny particles, under the degenerate retinas of rodents with a clear loss of vision, with the aim of activating the light of the retinal neurons in the absence of their natural inflammation.
The nanoparticles are distributed through the rodent’s eye and rescue the physiological behavior of the retina in light, the activity of the visual cortex and its sharpness “at levels indistinguishable from those of healthy rats, an effect that lasts up to eight months”, the authors of the study published in “Nature Nanotechnology” specified.
Mattia Bramini, from the University of Granada (UGR) in Spain, explained that “by conferring light sensitivity after a single injection, nanoparticles provide a new pathway in retinal prostheses.”
Bramini stressed that these nanoparticles are 300 times smaller than the diameter of a hair, so they represent a greater benefit compared to existing two-dimensional prostheses, which due to the complexity of their procedure, limit the number of interventions in which they are used. .
Among the most common causes of blindness are hereditary visual dysfunction, as well as macular degeneration produced as an effect of age. In this scenario, the polymer nanoparticles will represent the first attempt to rescue visual sensitivity in response to visible light.
“Although the limited visual acuity of the animal model does not allow to conclusively demonstrate the potential of spatial resolution of the nanoparticles, the acuity obtained in the dystrophic rat is equal to the best that can be achieved with current implants,” said the researcher and considered that this method could also be applied in diseases of the central nervous system.