A visual prosthesis, often referred to as a bionic eye ( artificial retina) , is an experimental visual device intended to restore functional vision in those suffering from partial or total blindness. In 1983 Joao Lobo Antunes, a world renowned Portuguese doctor, implanted a bionic eye in a person born blind. Many devices have been developed, usually modeled on the cochlear implant or bionic ear devices, a type of neural prosthesis in use since the mid-1980s. The idea of using electrical current (e.g., electrically stimulating the retina or the visual cortex) to provide sight dates back to the 18th century, discussed by Benjamin Franklin, Tiberius Cavallo,and Charles LeRoy.- MDA

New Material- Build Artificial Retina for Victims of AMD

By James Maynard,
A new material could enable light to stimulate blind retinas and produce an artificial retina, bringing eyesight to those who are currently unable to see. Formed into a sheet, the new film could be placed over the human retinas that have degenerated or been damaged, bringing sight back to the patient. Human retinas take photons of light, and convert the energy into electrical signals, which are then sent from the eye to the brain, where the images are processed.
Nanorods and nanotubes, constructed from semi-conductor materials, were developed into a light-sensitive film, able to convert light into electrical signals that can be transmitted without the use of wires. The material is also flexible enough to be utilized in patients, placed over their own inactive retinas.”This is a pioneering work demonstrating the use of highly tailored semiconductor nanocrystals in activation of biomedical functionalities. We hope this can lead to future implementation of this approach in retinal implants,” Uri Banin of the Hebrew University said.
Developing chicks with inactive retinas were implanted with tiny pieces of the new film, and light sensitivity in their retinas was seen to increase. This provides direct, if preliminary, evidence that the revolutionary film could be used to develop replacements for natural retinas……
Read more: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/21451/20141203/new-material-could-help-build-artificial-retinas-for-victims-of-amd.htm#ixzz3Kw5MxoQn
Source: Tech Times