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Z8.04 - Bio-Organic Interfaces for Cell Photo-Stimulation: Toward the Organic Artificial Retina 
April 24, 2014   9:15am - 9:45am

This talk introduces the use of organic semiconductors as artificial photoreceptors in biomimetic devices. The research started some years ago by demonstrating that organicsemiconductors can be used to reproduce the natural retina photoreceptor spectral responsein standard photo-diodes [1]. Second step was the development of hybrid solid liquid photodiodes that can naturally interface with a biological environment through the electronic/ionic interface [2]. The next step was demonstrating that primary neurons (from rat brain) grown on top of a photovoltaic semiconducting polymer acquire light sensitivity [3]. This occurs through a specific mechanism of cell stimulation by polymer photoexcitation (CSP) that will be discussed in the presentation. We then studied explanted retinas put in contact with our organic device. We will show that blind retinas, i.e. retinas with severe damage of the photoreceptors, do regain light sensitivity, as demonstrated by ganglion cell electrical activity upon illumination [4]. The process, its relation to CSP, perspective and future developments will be discussed. [1] M. Antognazza et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 163509 (2007)[2] M. Antognazza et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 243501 (2009)[3] Diego Ghezzi et al., Nat. Commun.2,166 (2011)[4] Diego Ghezzi et al., Nat. Photonics 7, 400 (2013)

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