A retinal implant is provided that uses an artificial biocompatible material as a support material on which retinal pigment epithelial cells, iris pigment epithelial cells, and/or stem cells can be deposited either in situ or in vivo. The support material has a surface topology that is rough to promote cell adhesion, has surface pits to allow pigment cells to grow into, and has pores to allow for proper diffusion of materials. The support material serves as a substrate for cell growth and as a patch for damaged basement membrane (Bruch's membrane). This cell-coated membrane or pigment cell-enriched membrane is surgically positioned in the sub- retinal space to rescue or restore photoreceptor cell function that may be damaged or threatened by degenerative diseases of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration.
Leng, Theodore, Dimitri Yellachich, Philip Huie, Jaan Noolandi, Harvey A. Fishman