CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique) has joined Israel’s Rainbow Medical and Zyvex Labs in their Nano Retina joint venture to develope a retinal prosthesis. The tiny Bio-Retina would be implanted in a minimally invasive procedure and the development team believes that return of sight would be immediate, save for a week of traditional post procedure recovery.
Bio-Retina incorporates various nano-size components in one tiny, flat implant, approximating the size of a child’s fingernail bed. Its simple 30-minute implant procedure requires local anesthesia, a small incision and “gluing” of the device to the damaged retina. Return of sight is anticipated to be instantaneous: 24×24 with the first generation and 72×72 with the second generation product, enabling persons who have undergone the procedure to watch TV and identify faces. Recovery time is estimated at up to one week.
Bio-Retina is designed to replace the damaged photoreceptor in the eye with the equivalent of a 600 pixel (first generation) or 5,000 pixel (second generation) retinal implant. Bio-Retina transforms naturally received light into an electrical signal that stimulates the neurons, which send the pictures received by Bio-Retina to the brain. Bio-Retina works harmoniously with the natural functionalities of the eye, including pupil dilation and eyeball movement. Patients will be able to look from side to side with their eyes rather than needing to turn their heads, as required by competing technologies. A rechargeable, battery-powered mini laser, situated on a pair of eyeglasses, efficiently powers the implant wirelessly.
Press release: CSEM partners with Nano Retina to restore sight to the blind
Link: Nano Retina, Inc.