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New bionic eye implant could help restore sight in blind people

Friday 23 August 2019

A new study has made use of an implant that directly stimulates the optic nerve in your eye, bypassing the eyeball completely.

The optic nerve sends electrodes straight to the brain by collating images that are seen with the retina and translating that information.

The implant device, named OpticSELINE, was successfully tested in white rabbits. The research looks increasingly optimistic and scientists are hopeful the results are reciprocated in humans.

The test saw the rabbits subjected to an injection of 12 electrodes that were implanted. The electrodes then triggered the visual cortex, the part of the brain that deals with processing images.

This could potentially be a huge breakthrough for the treatment of glaucoma, a disease that damages the nerve connecting the eye to the brain.

Professor Silvestro Micera is a neuro-engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and was one of the co-authors of the research.

She said, ‘The translational potentials of this approach are indeed extremely promising.’

The implant could consist of 48-60 electrodes due to the evolution of current electrode technology. This would not be enough to restore vision completely, but it could be enough for visual aid in daily activities.

Sources:

  1. Optical Implant Restores Sight.

  2. Bionic Eyes .

Label:

Glaucoma

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