University Of Tasmania
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Restoring vision using optogenetics without being blind to the risks

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 03:27 authored by Harris, AR, Frederic GilbertFrederic Gilbert
Retinitis pigmentosa is an incurable degenerative disease that causes loss of light sensitive cells in the retina and leads to severe vision impairment. The development of optogenetics has created great hype around its potential to treat retinitis pigmentosa by the introduction of light sensitive proteins into other neural cells in the retina. The first in human studies of optogenetic treatment for this disease have recently been reported. The treatment involves irreversible gene therapy and requires access to specially designed goggles to deliver light to the treated eye. This highly innovative and high profile clinical trial raises numerous ethical issues that must be addressed during the early phases of research and clinical testing to ensure trial participants are treated fairly and can provide appropriate informed consent.


Publication title

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics








School of Humanities



Place of publication

Oxford, England

Rights statement

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021 This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Harris, A and Gilbert, F, Restoring vision using optogenetics without being blind to the risks, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics pp. 1-8. ISSN 0275-5408 [Refereed Article], which has been published in final form at [ This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited

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Socio-economic Objectives

Technological ethics