Cone photoreceptors have a narrow acceptance angle that is well matched to the size of the eye pupil and dampens the visual impact of aberrations and scattering. However, the structure of the human retina is not replicated in existing eye models used to test refractive designs or retinal implants that restore partial vision to the blind. Here, we report on an artificial waveguide-based retinal phantom manufactured by photolithography in photoresist film with dimensions and refractive index contrast similar to the retinal receptor layer. The optical performance of the waveguide array is analyzed in terms of angular coupling efficiency, and it is experimentally verified that the structure leads to improved resolution and contrast of optical images transmitted through the layer when defocus is present.
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