‘Bionic eye’ Offers Hope to Blind
People who have gone blind are a step closer to one day regaining some of their sight, courtesy of a groundbreaking “bionic eye” being developed by American scientists.
Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Eye Institute have unveiled technology they hope will help patients with retinitis pigmentosa regain vision by using an implanted artificial retina.
Mark Humayun, professor of ophthalmology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, said the Food and Drug Administration had recently approved clinical studies of the new device, called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System.
The device aims to take the place of damaged photoreceptor cells in the retina that capture and process light.
“The first phase of our implant work began in 2002,” Humayun said.
“We have successfully implanted six patients in the trial, and we have found that the devices are indeed electrically conducting and can be used by patients to detect light or even to distinguish between objects such as a cup or plate.”
If further trials were successful, the devices could be commercially available within two years.Filed under: Health