Here is another interesting project in the works. This one comes from Germany, from a Bonn-based start-up company, IIP-Technologies GmbH.
The Information Society Technologies website explains:
IIP has made considerable progress in developing the first ‘intelligent’ retina implant in the world. Thanks to this implant it is possible to restore limited eyesight to people who have lost their sight following retina degeneration…
The patent-protected implant developed by IIP combines medicinal and information technology with micro-systems technology. A blind patient has a unique microchip implanted in their eye, wears special glasses with an integrated camera and carries a microcomputer on a belt around their waist. Visual information received by the glasses is converted into electrical pulses by the microcomputer and the pulses then used to stimulate the patient’s optic nerve. The implant helps restore limited eyesight to people affected with specific hereditary blindness.
IIP obtained encouraging results for their retina implant during an initial clinical research study conducted at four leading university hospitals in Germany and Austria in 2003 and 2004. Of the 20 patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa who participated in the study, 19 reported that their visual perception had been triggered thanks to electrical stimulations from IIP’s retina implant.
Following the promising results of their first clinical trial, IIP has launched a new trial this year, in cooperation with University Hospital Hamburg, involving patients with macular degeneration. Additionally, IIP has initiated procedures to obtain approval for their technology from the US Food and Drug Administration.
More details at IIP-Technologies…
Flashbacks: Optoelectronic Retinal Prosthesis, Good news from MiViP, Second Sight Implant: Positive Results Reported in the Study, Optobionics’ Artificial Silicon Retina ™ microchip