Reuters reports that the EU’s Microsystems-Based Visual Prosthesis (MiViP) project is speeding ahead:
A small camera mounted on spectacles and connected to the optical nerve could restore the sight of thousands of people suffering from deterioration of the retina, European scientists said on Monday.
The medical advance has the potential to help over 300,000 Europeans whose sight is impaired as the thin layer of tissue which lines the eye and processes images deteriorates, Belgian Professor Claude Veraart told a news conference.
“We have implanted (the device) in two patients so far,” Veraart from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels said.
A camera mounted on glasses sends images to an electronic device implanted behind the eye and stimulates the optic nerve which passes the information to the brain.
The technology could also help people with the retinal disease, macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of fine detail sight and which is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States.
No pictures of MiViP are available at the present time (components can be seen here).
Photo above is from a 5-year-old, and now forgotten, project out of New York titled “Dobelle Eye”.
In similar news, the implantation of Optobionics’ Artificial Silicon Retina ™ microchip, covered in our previous post, is in new human trials…
More at MiViP…
UPDATE (2/24/02): CNET has more (plus a diagram)…