Wireless restoration of sight to the blind (rats)

Stanford researchers developed a retinal prosthesis that wirelessly transmits images from a video camera in a pair of glasses directly to a chip implanted inside the retina tissue. The innovations of lead scientist Daniel Palanker and his colleagues is that their system does away with any cable between the implant and the video eyeglasses, and buries the chip in the sub-retinal layers of the eye instead of on its surface to eliminate a kind of interference. They published their latest breakthroughs in the science journal Nature Communications. From Medical Daily:

In this study, Palanker's team from the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory placed these second-generation implants into the retinas of rats with or without macular degeneration. The researchers found that the new bionic retinas could transmit images into the minds of rats, which was observed by measuring brain activity in the visual centers of the rodents' brains.
"Solar-Powered Bionic Eye Developed By Stanford Scientist" (Medical Daily)

Restoration of Sight to the Blind: Optoelectronic Retinal Prosthesis (Daniel Palanker)

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6 Responses to “Wireless restoration of sight to the blind (rats)”

  1. nuschu says:

    I was hoping to see rats with glasses on

  2. Brainspore says:

    Perhaps one day this technology could be used to help blind mice. Granted, they’ll also need prosthetic tails after that unfortunate incident regarding the farmer’s wife.

  3. Mat Linnett says:

    I’m always keen to read these developments as my right eye was badly damaged in an attack 7 years ago.
    That and having been a teenager obsessed with William Gibson, Shadowrun and Cyberpunk, there’s a part of me that yearns to become “more than human”. The “ICK! SURGERY!” side of me almost overpowers that mind you. Almost.

    Oh, and the REAL question that EVERYONE wants to know the answer to: will this let me look round corners by holding the camera?
    Cyber periscope for the win.

    • miasm says:

      I feel for you Mat.
      I got lucky and my eye healed fairly well but I’ve met a good few people who were also attacked and now have sight difficulties. Usually in the left eye, where the assailant punched.

      I’ve also learned that there is a routine, passed around by violent assholes, seemingly the world over, that includes deliberately going for the eyes as they are an easy target for lasting damage.

      Here’s hoping for a well designed and upgradeable bionic eye in the next decade or so.

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