Injection of Nanoantennas into Eye Extends Vision to 980nm

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Cell journal publishes a paper "Mammalian Near-Infrared Image Vision through Injectable and Self-Powered Retinal Nanoantennae" by Yuqian Ma, Jin Bao, Yuanwei Zhang, Zhanjun Li, Xiangyu Zhou, Changlin Wan, Ling Huang, Yang Zhao, Gang Han, and Tian Xue from University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Massachusetts.

"Mammals cannot see light over 700 nm in wavelength. This limitation is due to the physical thermodynamic properties of the photon-detecting opsins. However, the detection of naturally invisible near-infrared (NIR) light is a desirable ability. To break this limitation, we developed ocular injectable photoreceptor-binding upconversion nanoparticles (pbUCNPs). These nanoparticles anchored on retinal photoreceptors as miniature NIR light transducers to create NIR light image vision with negligible side effects. Based on single-photoreceptor recordings, electroretinograms, cortical recordings, and visual behavioral tests, we demonstrated that mice with these nanoantennae could not only perceive NIR light, but also see NIR light patterns. Excitingly, the injected mice were also able to differentiate sophisticated NIR shape patterns. Moreover, the NIR light pattern vision was ambient-daylight compatible and existed in parallel with native daylight vision. This new method will provide unmatched opportunities for a wide variety of emerging bio-integrated nanodevice designs and applications."

Unfortunately, the upconversion photon efficiency is quite low, between 1e-5 and 1e-6 depending on the 980nm source power:

The researchers publish a video explaining their paper in a plain language:

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