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Carbon nanotube electrodes for retinal implants: A study of structural and functional integration over time

Lookup NU author(s): Cyril Eleftheriou, Dr Henrik Kjeldsen, Professor Evelyne SernagorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The choice of electrode material is of paramount importance in neural prosthetic devices. Electrodes must be biocompatible yet able to sustain repetitive current injections in a highly corrosive environment. We explored the suitability of carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes to stimulate retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a mouse model of outer retinal degeneration. We investigated morphological changes at the bio-hybrid interface and changes in RGC responses to electrical stimulation following prolonged in vitro coupling to CNT electrodes.We observed gradual remodelling of the inner retina to incorporate CNT assemblies. Electrophysiological recordings demonstrate a progressive increase in coupling between RGCs and the CNT electrodes over three days, characterized by a gradual decrease in stimulation thresholds and increase in cellular recruitment. These results provide novel evidence for time-dependent formation of viable bio-hybrids between CNTs and the retina, demonstrating that CNTs are a promising material for inclusion in retinal prosthetic devices. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eleftheriou CG, Zimmermann JB, Kjeldsen HD, David-Pur M, Hanein Y, Sernagor E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biomaterials

Year: 2017

Volume: 112

Pages: 108-121

Print publication date: 01/01/2017

Online publication date: 11/10/2016

Acceptance date: 11/10/2016

Date deposited: 16/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0142-9612

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5905

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.10.018


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Funder referenceFunder name
Israel Ministry of Science and Technology
Israel Science Foundation
Newcastle Healthcare Charity
087223/Z/08/ZWellcome Trust
090196/Z/09/ZWellcome Trust
FUNMANIA-306707European Research Council under the European Community/ERC