The implant converts images from an external camera into electronic signals that the brain can ‘see’.
Tests on 21 patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that destroys light-receiving cells at the back of the eye, showed that three quarters were able to correctly identify single letters.
More than half were able to read four-letter words, at the best end of it they can start to read small 5cm letters formed into words. This was a huge change in perception of what we thought this device could do.
The Argus II is currently the only approved retinal prosthesis. A camera mounted on a pair of glasses feeds pictures along a cable to an electronic chip resting against the retina inside the eye.
The chip stimulates the optic nerve, which carries signals to the visual processing centre of the brain, giving the wearer a highly pixellated black and white view of the world.
To know more, read the full press release published on http://www.skynews.com.au
If you’re interested in reading more about research on bionic eye, visit the Artificial Retina Project. It’s a great read!
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