Surgeons Implant Bionic Eyes In Blind Patients

April 22, 2008


Surgeons have successfully implanted "bionic eyes" (similar in design to this, but not this) in two blind patients, in an attempt to restore some of their vision.

The device -- the first of its kind -- incorporates a video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses. This is linked to an artificial retina, which transmits moving images along the optic nerve to the brain and enables the patient to discriminate rudimentary images of motion, light and dark.

The Argus II uses a video camera to capture images. These are converted into electrical signals, which are transmitted wirelessly to the implant behind the retina. The electrodes in the implant unscramble the signal to create a crude black-and-white picture that is relayed along the optic nerve to the brain. The brain can then perceive patterns of light and dark spots corresponding to the electrodes stimulated.

That's great news. I'm all for restoring sight to the blind, and this seems like a real promising technology. They throw in the ability to see through cereal boxes so you can spot the ones with secret decoder rings and I'll laser-pointer myself in the eye right now.

Surgeons give hope to blind with successful 'bionic eye' operations [timesonline]

Thanks to Neil, who can see through walls, for the tip

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