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Revolutionary microscope for the brain could cure blindness

Revolutionary microscope for the brain could cure blindness

Monday 14 August 2017

In a move that brings us a step closer to virtual senses, Scientists in Houston are working on a flat microscope “FlatScope” which bypasses the eyes altogether. The tiny implant aims to restore eyesight by delivering complex visual information directly to the brain, and is part of a wider $65m US Government-funded initiative to create sensors that transmit a range of sensory information straight to your mind.

Designed to sit directly on the surface of the brain, the microscope works by detecting optical signals from neurons in the cortex. The tiny, flat interface is being designed to stimulate thousands (if not millions) of neurons, and will sit between the skull and cortex.

A lab prototype has already been built in at Rice University in Houston, while a team at Columbia University is working on the most effective way to wirelessly power and gather data from the interface. The initial project phase is 4 years.


  1. Rice University:
    Rice team developing flat microscope for the brain.

  2. Engadget:
    Flat microscope for the brain could help restore lost eyesight.


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  • Heath Lowe
    21 Aug 2017

    Is there any chance that I could be a guinea-pig for trying out this apparently marvelous device? I'm 64 and recently lost the sight in my left eye through trauma. I am an artist and dearly loved my previously good visual acuity.

    Serious Readers reply:

    Hello Heath – thanks for your feedback. The “FlatScope” is very much in its infancy – scientists in Houston have only just built a prototype, and their development phase for the project is 4 years. For further information including contact names, here is a link to the Rice University press release about the project

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