Anatomy and physiology of the retina in health and disease (Frank Müller)


The retina is spart of the central nervous system. It harbours not only the photoreceptors but also a neuronal network that performs the first steps of information processing before retinal output neurons, the retinal ganglion cells, relay the signal to the brain. We investigate information processing in the healthy retina to understand this neuronal network, a simplified model of the CNS.

In the diseases Retinitis pigmentosa and age-dependent macula degeneration, photoreceptors degenerate while the retinal network including the ganglion cells persists. Electrical stimulation of these cells can trigger visual sensations in patients, however, sofar results are suboptimal. Together with engineers we aim at developing new retinal implant techniques. We investigate how a pathological activity in the degenerated retina interferes with the successful electrical stimulation. It is our aim to block this activity with pharmacological treatment to improve the performance of the implant. This would be a first step to an electro-pharmacological therapy of blindness.

Research Topics

Retina; neuronal information processing; retina degeneration; retina implant


Prof. Dr. Frank Müller


Building 15.21 / Room R 2036

+49 2461/61-3661




Wässle, H., Puller, C., Müller, F. und Haverkamp, S. (2009): Cone contacts, mosaics, and territories of bipolar cells in the mouse retina. Journal of Neuroscience 29: 106-117.

Seeliger, M.W., Brombas, A., Weiler, R., Humphries, P., Knop, G., Tanimoto, N., and Müller, F. (2012): Modulation of rod photoreceptor output by HCN1 channels is essential for regular mesopic cone vision. Nature Communications 2:532/DOI:10.1038/ncomms1540

Biswas S, Haselier C, Mataruga A, Thumann G, Walter P, Müller F. Pharmacological analysis of intrinsic neuronal oscillations in rd10 retina. PloS one. 2014;9(6):e99075. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099075. PubMed PMID: 24918437; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4053359.

Haselier C, Biswas S, Rösch S, Thumann G, Müller F, Walter P (2017) Correlations between specific patterns of spontaneous activity and stimulation efficiency in degenerated retina. PLoS One 12:e0190048

Rincon Montes V, Gehlen J, Ingebrandt S, Mokwa W, Walter P, Müller F, Offenhäusser A (2020) Development and in vitro validation of flexible intraretinal probes. Sci Rep 10:19836

Gehlen J, Esser S, Schaffrath K, Johnen S, Walter P, Müller F (2020) Blockade of retinal oscillations by benzodiazipines improves efficiency of electrical stimulation in the mouse model of RP, rd10. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci 61:37

Gehlen J, Aretzweiler C, Mataruga A, Fahlke C, Müller F (2021) Excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT5 improves temporal resolution in the retina. eNeuro 8(6):ENEURO.0406-21.2021


Last Modified: 08.02.2024