Protein-Based Optical Memories and Associative Processors
Protein-Based Retinal Implants
The development of a retinal implant is a new research area. The original design of our retinal implant was based on the use of bacteriorhodopsin to generate a photovoltaic signal (Chen et al., 1993; Wagner et al. 2013). Although this approach did induce a neural signal, the recent discovery of acid sensing channels in bipolar cells encouraged us to try a different approach. We found that multilayer films of oriented bacteriorhodopsin showed excellent proton pumping capability and three to four times higher quantum efficiency in generating nerve impulses than the photovoltaic designs (Patent US8563026B2; Wagner et al. 2013). The retinal implant technology is currently being commercialized by LambdaVision, Inc.