Stanford Researchers Develop Wireless Retinal Implant
May 15, 2012 12:55 PM
The researchers have already conducted an early trial in the United Kingdom, where the retinal implant allowed blind patients to perceive light and certain shapes
Stanford University researchers have created a wireless
that could help patients see again without the inconvenience of wires.
The new implant consists of a chip that is placed behind the eye, and a pair of glasses that is equipped with a video camera. The glasses beam near infrared light into the eye, powering the implant much like a solar panel. The glasses not only power the implant, but also sends information about what is happening in front of the patient's eyes via the video camera.
The beams of near infrared light sent from the glasses to the retinal chip stimulates the nerves in the back of the eye, allowing the patient to see better than he/she could before.
Traditional retinal implants require a battery for power, which needs to be fitted behind the ear. The implant and the battery are then connected by a wire.
But the Stanford approach eliminates inconvenient wires and has even
proved to help blind patients see again
"Because the photovoltaic implant is thin and wireless, the surgical procedure is much simpler than in other retinal prosthetic approaches," said the Stanford researchers. "Such a fully integrated wireless implant promises the restoration of useful vision to patients blinded by degenerative retinal diseases."
The researchers have already conducted an early trial in the United Kingdom, where the retinal implant allowed blind patients to perceive light and certain shapes. The implant could help those with age-related macular degeneration and retinal pigmentosa.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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