Publications by authors named "Kyle Loizos"

14 Publications

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Model-based comparison of current flow in rod bipolar cells of healthy and early-stage degenerated retina.

Exp Eye Res 2021 06 30;207:108554. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Institute for Technology and Medical Systems Innovation (ITEMS), Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, are generally thought to initiate with the loss of photoreceptors, though recent work suggests that plasticity and remodeling occurs prior to photoreceptor cell loss. This degeneration subsequently leads to death of other retinal neurons, creating functional alterations and extensive remodeling of retinal networks. Retinal prosthetic devices stimulate the surviving retinal cells by applying external current using implanted electrodes. Although these devices restore partial vision, the quality of restored vision is limited. Further knowledge about the precise changes in degenerated retina as the disease progresses is essential to understand how current flows in retinas undergoing degenerative disease and to improve the performance of retinal prostheses. We developed computational models that describe current flow from rod photoreceptors to rod bipolar cells (RodBCs) in the healthy and early-stage degenerated retina. Morphologically accurate models of retinal cells with their synapses are constructed based on retinal connectome datasets, created using serial section transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of 70 nm-thick slices of either healthy (RC1) or early-stage degenerated (RPC1) rabbit retina. The passive membrane and active ion currents of each cell are implemented using conductance-based models in the Neuron simulation environment. In response to photocurrent input at rod photoreceptors, the simulated membrane potential at RodBCs in early degenerate tissue is approximately 10-20 mV lower than that of RodBCs of that observed in wild type retina. Results presented here suggest that although RodBCs in RPC1 show early, altered morphology compared to RC1, the lower membrane potential is primarily a consequence of reduced rod photoreceptor input to RodBCs in the degenerated retina. Frequency response and step input analyses suggest that individual cell responses of RodBCs in either healthy or early-degenerated retina, prior to substantial photoreceptor cell loss, do not differ significantly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2021.108554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8187309PMC
June 2021

Color and cellular selectivity of retinal ganglion cell subtypes through frequency modulation of electrical stimulation.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 4;11(1):5177. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Epiretinal prostheses aim at electrically stimulating the inner most surviving retinal cells-retinal ganglion cells (RGCs)-to restore partial sight to the blind. Recent tests in patients with epiretinal implants have revealed that electrical stimulation of the retina results in the percept of color of the elicited phosphenes, which depends on the frequency of stimulation. This paper presents computational results that are predictive of this finding and further support our understanding of the mechanisms of color encoding in electrical stimulation of retina, which could prove pivotal for the design of advanced retinal prosthetics that elicit both percept and color. This provides, for the first time, a directly applicable "amplitude-frequency" stimulation strategy to "encode color" in future retinal prosthetics through a predictive computational tool to selectively target small bistratified cells, which have been shown to contribute to "blue-yellow" color opponency in the retinal circuitry. The presented results are validated with experimental data reported in the literature and correlated with findings in blind patients with a retinal prosthetic implant collected by our group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84437-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933163PMC
March 2021

Responsiveness of Retinal Ganglion Cells Through Frequency Modulation of Electrical Stimulation: A Computational Modeling Study

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2020 07;2020:3393-3398

Electrical stimulation of surviving retinal neurons has proven effective in restoring sight to totally blind patients affected by retinal degenerative diseases. Morphological and biophysical differences among retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are important factors affecting their response to epiretinal electrical stimulation. Although detailed models of ON and OFF RGCs have already been investigated, here we developed morphologically and biophysically realistic computational models of two classified RGCs, D1-bistratified and A2-monostratified, and analyzed their response to alternations in stimulation frequency (up to 200 Hz). Results show that the D1-bistratified cell is more responsive to high frequency stimulation compared to the A2-monostratified cell. This differential RGCs response suggests a potential avenue for selective activation, and in turn different encoded percept of RGCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7997733PMC
July 2020

Targeted Stimulation of Retinal Ganglion Cells in Epiretinal Prostheses: A Multiscale Computational Study.

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2020 11 6;28(11):2548-2556. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Retinal prostheses aim at restoring partial sight to patients that are blind due to retinal degenerative diseases by electrically stimulating the surviving healthy retinal neurons. Ideally, the electrical stimulation of the retina is intended to induce localized, focused, percepts only; however, some epiretinal implant subjects have reported seeing elongated phosphenes in a single electrode stimulation due to the axonal activation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). This issue can be addressed by properly devising stimulation waveforms so that the possibility of inducing axonal activation of RGCs is minimized. While strategies to devise electrical stimulation waveforms to achieve a focal RGCs response have been reported in literature, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. This article intends to address this gap; we developed morphologically and biophysically realistic computational models of two classified RGCs: D1-bistratified and A2-monostratified. Computational results suggest that the sodium channel band (SOCB) is less sensitive to modulations in stimulation parameters than the distal axon (DA), and DA stimulus threshold is less sensitive to physiological differences among RGCs. Therefore, over a range of RGCs distal axon diameters, short-pulse symmetric biphasic waveforms can enhance the stimulation threshold difference between the SOCB and the DA. Appropriately designed waveforms can avoid axonal activation of RGCs, implying a consequential reduction of undesired strikes in the visual field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNSRE.2020.3027560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7737501PMC
November 2020

Admittance Method for Estimating Local Field Potentials Generated in a Multi-Scale Neuron Model of the Hippocampus.

Front Comput Neurosci 2020 4;14:72. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Significant progress has been made toward model-based prediction of neral tissue activation in response to extracellular electrical stimulation, but challenges remain in the accurate and efficient estimation of distributed local field potentials (LFP). Analytical methods of estimating electric fields are a first-order approximation that may be suitable for model validation, but they are computationally expensive and cannot accurately capture boundary conditions in heterogeneous tissue. While there are many appropriate numerical methods of solving electric fields in neural tissue models, there isn't an established standard for mesh geometry nor a well-known rule for handling any mismatch in spatial resolution. Moreover, the challenge of misalignment between current sources and mesh nodes in a finite-element or resistor-network method volume conduction model needs to be further investigated. Therefore, using a previously published and validated multi-scale model of the hippocampus, the authors have formulated an algorithm for LFP estimation, and by extension, bidirectional communication between discretized and numerically solved volume conduction models and biologically detailed neural circuit models constructed in NEURON. Development of this algorithm required that we assess meshes of (i) unstructured tetrahedral and grid-based hexahedral geometries as well as (ii) differing approaches for managing the spatial misalignment of current sources and mesh nodes. The resulting algorithm is validated through the comparison of Admittance Method predicted evoked potentials with analytically estimated LFPs. Establishing this method is a critical step toward closed-loop integration of volume conductor and NEURON models that could lead to substantial improvement of the predictive power of multi-scale stimulation models of cortical tissue. These models may be used to deepen our understanding of hippocampal pathologies and the identification of efficacious electroceutical treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2020.00072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7417331PMC
August 2020

Stimulus waveform design for decreasing charge and increasing stimulation selectivity in retinal prostheses.

Healthc Technol Lett 2020 Jun 23;7(3):66-71. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

Retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, begin with damage to the photoreceptor layer of the retina. In the absence of presynaptic input from photoreceptors, networks of electrically coupled AII amacrine and cone bipolar cells have been observed to exhibit oscillatory behaviour and result in spontaneous firing of ganglion cells. This ganglion cell activity could interfere with external stimuli provided by retinal prosthetic devices and potentially degrade their performance. In this work, the authors computationally investigate stimulus waveform designs, which can improve the performance of retinal prostheses by suppressing undesired spontaneous firing of ganglion cells and generating precise temporal spiking patterns. They utilise a multi-scale computational model for electrical stimulation of degenerated retina based on the admittance method and NEURON simulation environments. They present a class of asymmetric biphasic pulses that can generate precise ganglion cell firing patterns with up to 55% lower current requirements compared to traditional symmetric biphasic pulses. This lower current results in activation of only proximal ganglion cells, provides more focused stimulation and lowers the risk of tissue damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/htl.2019.0115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353818PMC
June 2020

Model-Based Analysis of Electrode Placement and Pulse Amplitude for Hippocampal Stimulation.

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2018 10 25;65(10):2278-2289. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Objective: The ideal form of a neural-interfacing device is highly dependent upon the anatomy of the region with which it is meant to interface. Multiple-electrode arrays provide a system that can be adapted to various neural geometries. Computational models of stimulating systems have proven useful for evaluating electrode placement and stimulation protocols, but have yet to be adequately adapted to the unique features of the hippocampus.

Methods: As an approach to understanding potential memory restorative devices, an admittance method-NEURON model was constructed to predict the direct and synaptic response of a region of the rat dentate gyrus to electrical stimulation of the perforant path.

Results: A validation of estimated local field potentials against experimental recordings is performed and results of a bilinear electrode placement and stimulation amplitude parameter search are presented.

Conclusion: The parametric analysis presented herein suggests that stimulating electrodes placed between the lateral and medial perforant path, near the crest of the dentate gyrus, yield a larger relative population response to given stimuli.

Significance: Beyond deepening understanding of the hippocampal tissue system, establishment of this model provides a method to evaluate candidate stimulating devices and protocols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2018.2791860DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6224291PMC
October 2018

Increasing Electrical Stimulation Efficacy in Degenerated Retina: Stimulus Waveform Design in a Multiscale Computational Model.

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2018 06;26(6):1111-1120

A computational model of electrical stimulation of the retina is proposed for investigating current waveforms used in prosthetic devices for restoring partial vision lost to retinal degenerative diseases. The model framework combines a connectome-based neural network model characterized by accurate morphological and synaptic properties with an admittance method model of bulk tissue and prosthetic electronics. In this model, the retina was computationally "degenerated," considering cellular death and anatomical changes that occur early in disease, as well as altered neural behavior that develops throughout the neurodegeneration and is likely interfering with current attempts at restoring vision. A resulting analysis of stimulation range and threshold of ON ganglion cells within the retina that are either healthy or in beginning stages of degeneration is presented for currently used stimulation waveforms, and an asymmetric biphasic current stimulation for subduing spontaneous firing to allow increased control over ganglion cell firing patterns in degenerated retina is proposed. Results show that stimulation thresholds of retinal ganglion cells do not notably vary after beginning stages of retina degeneration. In addition, simulation of proposed asymmetric waveforms showed the ability to enhance the control of ganglion cell firing via electrical stimulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNSRE.2018.2832055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6005361PMC
June 2018

A large-scale detailed neuronal model of electrical stimulation of the dentate gyrus and perforant path as a platform for electrode design and optimization.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2016 Aug;2016:2794-2797

Owing to the dramatic rise in treatment of neurological disorders with electrical micro-stimulation it has become apparent that the major technological limitation in deploying effective devices lies in the process of designing efficient, safe, and outcome specific electrode arrays. The time-consuming and low-fidelity nature of gathering test data using experimental means and the immense control and flexibility of computational models, has prompted us and others to build models of electrical stimulation of neural networks that can be simulated in a computer. Because prior work has been focused on single cells, very small networks, or non-biological models of neural tissue, it was expedient that we take advantage of our, 4,040 processor, computing cluster to construct a large-scale 3-dimensional emulation of hippocampal tissue using detailed neuronal models with explicit and unique morphologies. This model, when paired with an equivalent circuit method of estimating voltage signal attenuation throughout anisotropic resistive tissue, can be used to predict tissue response to an exhaustive set of stimulation and tissue conditions: electrode geometry, array geometry, static dielectric properties of tissue, stimulation pulse features, etc. Preliminary experiments demonstrate that this system is capable of yielding neuronal responses with striking similarities to experimental results. This work provides an avenue to qualitative evaluation of electrode arrays, and more meaningful modeling of local field potentials in terms of their contributing sources and sinks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591310DOI Listing
August 2016

Virtual electrode design for increasing spatial resolution in retinal prosthesis.

Healthc Technol Lett 2016 Jun 27;3(2):93-7. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering , University of Utah , Salt Lake City, UT 84112 , USA.

Retinal prostheses systems are currently used to restore partial vision to patients blinded by degenerative diseases by electrically stimulating surviving retinal cells. To obtain likely maximum resolution, electrode size is minimised, allowing for a large quantity on an array and localised stimulation regions. Besides the small size leading to fabrication difficulties and higher electrochemical charge density, there are challenges associated with the number of drivers needed for a large electrode count as well as the strategies to deliver sufficient power to these drivers wirelessly. In hopes to increase electrode resolution while avoiding these issues, the authors propose a new 'virtual electrode' design to increase locations of likely stimulation. Passive metallisation strategically placed between disk electrodes, combined with alternating surrounding stimuli, channel current into a location between electrodes, producing a virtual stimulation site. A computational study was conducted to optimise the passive metal element geometry, quantify the expected current density output, and simulate retinal ganglion cell activity due to virtual electrode stimulation. Results show that this procedure leads to array geometry that focuses injected current and achieves retinal ganglion cell stimulation in a region beneath the 'virtual electrode,' creating an alternate stimulation site without additional drivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/htl.2015.0043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916480PMC
June 2016

On the computation of a retina resistivity profile for applications in multi-scale modeling of electrical stimulation and absorption.

Phys Med Biol 2016 06 25;61(12):4491-505. Epub 2016 May 25.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, UT 84112, USA.

This study proposes a methodology for computationally estimating resistive properties of tissue in multi-scale computational models, used for studying the interaction of electromagnetic fields with neural tissue, with applications to both dosimetry and neuroprosthetics. Traditionally, models at bulk tissue- and cellular-level scales are solved independently, linking resulting voltage from existing resistive tissue-scale models as extracellular sources to cellular models. This allows for solving the effects that external electric fields have on cellular activity. There are two major limitations to this approach: first, the resistive properties of the tissue need to be chosen, of which there are contradicting measurements in literature; second, the measurements of resistivity themselves may be inaccurate, leading to the mentioned contradicting results found across different studies. Our proposed methodology allows for constructing computed resistivity profiles using knowledge of only the neural morphology within the multi-scale model, resulting in a practical implementation of the effective medium theory; this bypasses concerns regarding the choice of resistive properties and accuracy of measurement setups. A multi-scale model of retina is constructed with an external electrode to serve as a test bench for analyzing existing and resulting resistivity profiles, and validation is presented through the reconstruction of a published resistivity profile of retina tissue. Results include a computed resistivity profile of retina tissue for use with a retina multi-scale model used to analyze effects of external electric fields on neural activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/61/12/4491DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916774PMC
June 2016

A 3-D admittance-level computational model of a rat hippocampus for improving prosthetic design.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2015 ;2015:2295-8

Hippocampal prosthetic devices have been developed to bridge the gap between functioning portions of the hippocampus, in order to restore lost memory functionality in those suffering from brain injury or diseases. One approach taken in recent neuroprosthetic design is to use a multi-input, multi-output device that reads data from the CA3 in the hippocampus and electrically stimulates the CA1 in an attempt to mimic the appropriate firing pattern that would occur naturally between the two areas. However, further study needs to be conducted in order to optimize electrode placement, pulse magnitude, and shape for creating the appropriate firing pattern. This paper describes the creation and implementation of an anatomically correct 3D model of the hippocampus to simulate the electric field patterns and axonal activation from electrical stimulation due to an implanted electrode array. The activating function was applied to the voltage results to determine the firing patterns in possible axon locations within the CA1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2015.7318851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4877026PMC
September 2016

A multi-scale computational model for the study of retinal prosthetic stimulation.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2014 ;2014:6100-3

An implantable retinal prosthesis has been developed to restore vision to patients who have been blinded by degenerative diseases that destroy photoreceptors. By electrically stimulating the surviving retinal cells, the damaged photoreceptors may be bypassed and limited vision can be restored. While this has been shown to restore partial vision, the understanding of how cells react to this systematic electrical stimulation is largely unknown. Better predictive models and a deeper understanding of neural responses to electrical stimulation is necessary for designing a successful prosthesis. In this work, a computational model of an epi-retinal implant was built and simulated, spanning multiple spatial scales, including a large-scale model of the retina and implant electronics, as well as underlying neuronal networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2014.6945021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490688PMC
October 2015
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