January 16, 2022

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Our electronic eye is ready for human testing

Healthy eyesight is a common part of life for many. However, not everyone is so lucky and many people experience various visual problems. However, for people with certain types of blindness, it lights up for better times, thanks to an experimental electronic eye, which can somehow restore sight. The portal drew attention to the topic New Atlas.

The electronic eye restores sight to the blind

As follows from a study published in the journal biomaterials, a bionic eye developed by a team of biomedical experts from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales ready for human testing after a three-month study, he wrote. WLNeversetta vs Sydney on your site.

Sydney University

Experts from these universities have succeeded in proving a new electronic eye called Phoenix99 Stable, reliable and safe, which opens the door to human testing.

Phoenix99 is being An implantable system designed to restore some form of vision for patients with severe visual impairment or blindness caused by a degenerative disease such as retinitis pigmentosa,” stated in the university report.

Therefore, the prosthesis is intended for people with severe visual impairment and blindness, in which the retina is damaged, but the optic nerve remains intact.

The device itself consists of two main implantable parts – a stimulator designed to be attached to the eye and a contact unit placed under the skin behind the patient’s ear. The Vision Restoration System for the Blind has been tested on sheep and has shown very promising results. This means that no negative interaction was observed in the tissues surrounding these components and the entire system worked as expected.

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Based on the results, a team of experts is now seeking approval for ethical acceptance for clinical trial in humans, while continually working to develop and improve this device.

How it works?

The system works by stimulating the retina and bypassing the malfunctioning cells by directly stimulating the healthy cells, essentially tricking the brain. More specifically, a patient with a Pheonix bionic eye implant99 A stimulator is placed on the eye and a contact unit is implanted behind the ear.

The system includes a small camera attached to the glasses that captures the scene in front of the wearer, while the image is processed from it into a set of stimulus instructions. These instructions are sent wirelessly through the skin to the communication unit.

The unit decodes these instructions into electrical impulses that are sent to the stimulus unit located on the damaged retina. In this way, the device bypasses the photoreceptor neurons in the damaged retina — those that have lost their ability to respond to light — and directly stimulates the still-functioning cells, which are responsible for collecting input from other retinal cells and transmitting it along the optic nerve to the brain, NewAtlas writes. .

However, as the scientists themselves admit, the resulting picture is very different from what we might call “normal vision”. Phoenix99 It appears to provide patients with “just” very little information about their surroundings. In particular, patients with the implant must be able to recognize nearby obstructions, orient themselves better, or be able to read capital letters.

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