Bionic Eyes Becoming Real

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 18, 2007 in Science |

Bionic Eyes Becoming Real: The Six Million Dollar man and Star Trek

To oldtime fanboys who grew up with the “Six Million Dollar Man” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” the concept of bionic eyes will seem old school, but in a nice twist-of-technology it looks like the concept is starting to become quite real according to this BBC news article:

Trials for ‘bionic’ eye implants

“A bionic eye implant that could help restore the sight of millions of blind people could be available to patients within two years. US researchers have been given the go-ahead to implant the prototype device in 50 to 75 patients. The Argus II system uses a spectacle-mounted camera to feed visual information to electrodes in the eye. Patients who tested less-advanced versions of the retinal implant were able to see light, shapes and movement.”

This research for this was presented at the AAAS Conference by Mark Humayun who is affiliated with the National Design Center for Biomimetic Nanoconductors. According to thier website they are doing some interesting work:

“The premise of the artificial retina project is to take images from a glass-worn camera and convert it into patterns of electrical stimulations that would excite the remaining retinal neurons and when transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve result in restoring useful visual cues. In so doing, the artificial retina would by pass the loss of the photoreceptor function. The critical questions in the development of the artificial retina lie in how best to electrically and mechanically interface the implanted electronics with the remaining retinal neurons (e.g., retinal ganglion cells).”

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