At Bionic Vision Australia, a consortium of researchers working on an eye prosthesis, the implantation of a bionic eye with 24 electrodes has turned out to be a success. A 54 year old female patient with vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa had received the retinal implant earlier this year in May. Last month the implant was switched on. With the implant she can now see flashes of light every time the implant is stimulated. With this major successful development, the researchers at Bionic Vision Australia can now proceed with the next steps in their mission to restore vision.
The implant is positioned behind the retina, after which the eye first needs to recover from the operation. The implant consists of 24 electrodes and it can be stimulated externally via an electric wire, which runs from the back of the eye towards the ear. The goal of this early model is to develop a vision processor using feedback from the patient. Other implants with more electrodes on it are being developed and will be planned for patient testing as well. And ultimately the bionic eye system will feature an external camera built into a pair of glasses that will supply the visual input for the implant.
We will now patiently, but curiously, wait until the day comes that in the world of the blind, the bionic eyed man is king.
Previous Medgadget coverage: New Prototype of Australian Bionic Eye Announced
News release from The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital: “All of a sudden I could see a little flash of light. It was amazing.”