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publicado em 27/08/2012 às 14h00:00
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Electrode developed in Brazil reduced by four times the cost of retinal examination

National version allows to evaluate electrical responses of the retina to light stimuli and helps in the diagnosis of ocular diseases

 
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Researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) developed a national version of an electrode used in electroretinography (ERG) examination that evaluates electrical responses of the retina to light stimuli and helps in the diagnosis of eye diseases.

The results of the study were presented at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology (Fesbe) held in Lindoia waters between 22 and 25 August.

Brazil currently imports these electrodes, which are disposable and cost between $ 30 and $ 40 each. We developed a similar product, but with lower price four times, said Adriana Berezovsky, coordinator of research funded by FAPESP Research Assistance in Regular mode.

The electrode is about 3 centimeters and, as the imported version, is made of fabric with a fiber filament of silver. During the exam, is introduced into the conjunctival sac of the lower lid and captures electrical signals emitted by the cells of the retina in response to light stimuli triggered by ERG apparatus.

There is no need for anesthesia. The patient feels only a slight discomfort during placement, Berezovsky said.

The human retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells which are responsible for capturing the light and the electrical impulse relay to other cells and the optic nerve.

Rods are responsible for night vision and cones for the daytime. But some diseases cause the death of these cells. This can lead, for example, night blindness or loss of peripheral vision, the researcher explained.

The ERG allows to evaluate the functioning of the cones and rods, and second Berezovsky, the ophthalmologist can help identify problems that often precede noticeable changes in fundus of the eye, in which the doctor visualizes the structures that form the retina.

Validation <b> </ b>

The researchers tested the electrode into a national group of 50 healthy volunteers and compared the results with the tests made with the imported equivalent. The performance of both were similar. The data were published in the Brazilian Archives of Ophthalmology in 2008.

The following year, with assistance from FAPESP through the Program Support for Intellectual Property (PAPI / Nuplitec), the team has filed for a patent on the electrode, which is still pending.

Since then, researchers have compared the performance of domestic and imported version of volunteers with retinal diseases. Already tested on about 50 patients and had good results, but we still need to expand the sample, Berezovsky said.

The studies have been done with hereditary diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophy and Stargardt disease. Preliminary results were presented at the congress of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the most important area.

The electrode has also been tested for veterinary use. The functioning of the national version was compared with the imported version in ten healthy dogs breed yorkshire terrier, with similar results.

The data have been submitted for publication in an international journal. Now we want to test the electrode in dogs with retinal diseases, Berezovsky said.

The team plans to refine the model developed in Brazil. We are studying the size and material, to better tailor the electrode needs of the country, he said.

Source: FAPESP
   Palavras-chave:   Retina    Retina scan    Electrode    Unifesp    Federal University of São Paulo    Electroretinography    Eye diseases   
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