Armand R. Tanguay, Jr.

Professor of Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Physics, and Astronomy; Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems Center (an NSF Engineering Research Center); Center for Vision Science and Technology; Center for Neural Engineering; Center for Photonic Technology; Signal and Image Processing Institute

Armand R. Tanguay, Jr.

Research Topics

  • Intraocular Cameras for Retinal Prostheses
  • Conformal Microelectrode Arrays for Cortical and Retinal Prostheses
  • Photonic Implementations of Neural Networks
  • Hybrid Electronic/Photonic Multichip Modules
  • Crystal Growth of Optical and Electronic Materials
  • Dielectric and Optical Thin Film Physics
  • Physical Optics
  • Physics of Electrooptic, Optoelectronic, and Integrated Optical Devices
  • Spatial Light Modulators
  • Photorefractive Volume Holographic Optical Elements
  • Fundamental Physical Limitations of Optical Information Processing and Computing

Research Images

Intraocular retinal prosthesis with internally mounted (intraocular) camera, showing the intraocular camera, a multichip module package for conversion of camera signals to biological stimuli, an ultra-flexible ribbon cable, and a multielectrode array proximity coupled to the retina.  The diagram is an illustration of a top view of the right eye, with the ultra-flexible ribbon cable routed in the opposite hemisphere for clarity of illustration.Intraocular retinal prosthesis with intraocular camera (IOC); enlarged view, including the aspherical lens, CMOS image sensor array, fused silica window, and hermetically sealed housing.  The entire intraocular camera is only 3.18 mm in diameter and 4.5 mm long, and is designed to fit within the crystalline lens sac following removal of the crystalline lens.Original kitchen image, 1024 x 1024 pixels.  This image is used in visual psychophysics studies to evaluate optimal encoding methods for the presentation of visual images in a retinal prosthesis with a limited number of microelectrodes within the microstimulator array.  Intraocular retinal prostheses are designed to provide sight restoration primarily for diseases resulting in photoreceptor loss, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).Kitchen image, 25 x 25 pixels, 33% Gaussian blur.  This image shows the effects of near-optimal post-pixellation blur applied to a pixellated image designed for a 625 electrode microstimulator array, as determined by visual psychophysics experiments.  The post-pixellation blurring results from current and field spreading from the microelectrodes to the retinal ganglion cells within the inner layer of the retina.

Research Overview

Professor Tanguay's research interests and experience include the crystal growth and characterization of optical and optoelectronic materials; dielectric and optical thin film physics; thin film deposition technology and characterization; device processing by ion beam milling and etching techniques; electronic/photonic packaging including multichip module integration by flip-chip bonding; physical optics; the physics and technology of electrooptic, optoelectronic, and integrated optical devices (including spatial light modulators, photorefractive volume holographic optical elements, diffractive optical elements, and advanced integrated optical signal processors); photonic implementations of neural networks; smart cameras (including adaptive nonlinear dynamic range compression and color constancy); surgically-implantable intraocular cameras and multielectrode arrays for retinal prostheses; immersive panoramic cameras; 3-D visualization and full-volume 3-D displays; chaos in neural networks; 2-D and 3-D conformal multielectrode neural probes and neural unit array prostheses for the brain; hybrid biological/electronic/photonic computational modules; and the fundamental and technological limitations of optical information processing and computing.

Professor Tanguay's current research programs are highly interdisciplinary in nature, and include the development of hybrid electronic/photonic multichip modules for vision applications; the design, fabrication, and testing of an intraocular camera to be used in conjunction with advanced conformal multielectrode arrays to form a retinal prosthesis for blindness induced by retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration; the use of human psychophysical techniques to develop optimal image acquisition and stimulation protocols for retinal prosthetic devices with limited numbers of microstimulator electrodes; the study of lateral brightness and chromatic adaptation in the human visual system; and the search for the fundamental origins of layering throughout the human visual and cortical systems.

Contact Information

Mailing Address University of Southern California
520 Seaver Science Center
University Park, MC-0483
Los Angeles, California 90089-0483
Office Location SSC 520 (UPC); DVRC 122 (HSC)
Office Phone (213) 740-4403
Lab Location SSC 511, 513, 515, 519, 525
Lab Phone (213) 740-4400
Fax (213) 740-9823
Office Location SSC 520 (UPC); DVRC 122 (HSC)


  • B.S., Physics (Honors), California Institute of Technology, 1971.
  • M.S., Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University, 1972.
  • M.Phil., Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University, 1975.
  • Ph.D., Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University, 1977.

Selected Publications

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  • AP Rowley, JJ Whalen, JD Weiland, AR Tanguay, Jr., and MS Humayun, (2011)  The Development of a Retinal Prosthesis - A Significant Materials Challenge,  Chapter II.5.10e in Biomaterials Science:  An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, 4th Edition, B. D. Ratner, A. S Hoffman, F. J. Schoen, and J. E. Lemon, Eds., Academic Press, New York, (2011; in press).
  • NRB Stiles, BP McIntosh, PJ Nasiatka, MC Hauer, JD Weiland, MS Humayun, and AR Tanguay, Jr., (2010)  An Intraocular Camera for Retinal Prostheses:  Restoring Sight to the Blind, Chapter 20 in Optical Processes in Microparticles and Nanostructures, Advanced Series in Applied Physics, Volume 6, A. Serpenguzel and A. Poon, Eds., World Scientific, Singapore, (2010), pp. 385-429.
  • PJ Nasiatka, BP McIntosh, NRB Stiles, MC Hauer, JD Weiland, MS Humayun, and AR Tanguay, Jr., (2010)  An Intraocular Camera for Provision of Natural Foveation in Retinal Prostheses, Proceedings of the 2010 Neural Interfaces Conference, Long Beach, CA (June 21-23, 2010).
  • BP McIntosh, PJ Nasiatka, NRB Stiles, JD Weiland, MS Humayun, and AR Tanguay, Jr., (2010)  The Importance of Natural Foveation in Retinal Prostheses: Experiments with a Visual Prosthesis Simulator, Proceedings of the 2010 Neural Interfaces Conference, Long Beach, CA (June 21-23, 2010).
  • NRB Stiles, BP McIntosh, PJ Nasiatka, JD Weiland, MS Humayun, and AR Tanguay, Jr., (2010)  Intraocular Camera for Retinal Prostheses:  Psychophysical Analysis of Image Sampling and Filtering, Proceedings of the 2010 Neural INterfaces Conference, Long Beach, CA, (June 21-23, 2010).
  • MT Kim, W Soussou, G Gholmieh, A Ahuja, AR Tanguay, Jr., TW Berger, and RD Brinton, (2006)  17beta-Estradiol Potentiates Field Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials within each Subfield of the Hippocampus with Greatest Potentiation of the Associational/Commissural Afferents of CA3, Neuroscience, 141(1), 391-406, (2006). PubMed
  • TW Berger, A Ahuja, SH Courellis, SA Deadwyler, G Erinjippurath, GA Gerhardt, G Gholmieh, JJGranacki , R Hampson, MC Hsaio, J LaCoss, VZ Marmarelis, P Nasiatka, V Srinivasan, D Song, AR Tanguay, Jr., and J Wills, (2006)  Restoring Lost Cognitive Function, IEEE Engineering and Biology Magazine, 24(5), 30-44, (2006). PubMed
  • G Gholmieh, W Soussou, M Han, A Ahuja, MC Hsiao, D Song, AR.Tanguay, Jr., and TW Berger, (2006)  Custom-Designed High-Density Conformal Planar Multielectrode Arrays for Brain Slice Electrophysiology, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 152(1-2), 116-129, (2006). PubMed
  • TW Berger, RD Brinton, VZ Marmarelis, B Sheu, and AR Tanguay, Jr., (2005)  Brain Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as a Neural Prosthesis for Hippocampal Memory Function, Chapter 12 in Toward Replacement Parts for the Brain:  Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as Neural Prostheses, T. W. Berger and D. Glanzman, Eds., MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, (2005), pp. 241-276.
  • AR Tanguay, Jr. and BK Jenkins, (2005)  Hybrid Electronic/Photonic Multichip Modules for Vision and Neural Prosthetic Applications, Chapter 14 in Toward Replacement Parts for the Brain: Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as Neural Prostheses, T. W. Berger and D. Glanzman, Eds., MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, (2005), pp. 295-334.