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Man invents retinal prosthesis system inspired by his grandmother

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2018-03-26 14:30

About the solution

Mark teaches at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and invented a bionic eye: the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”), which is an intraocular retinal prosthesis that allows the blind to partially restore their useful vision.

“When I was going through medical school, my grandmother went blind and there was really no cure for her. And it made me rethink my career and focus more on how to restore sight to those who are going blind”, the ophthalmologist explained.

According to a press release published on the school’s website, this device “restores some visual capabilities for patients whose blindness is caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP is an inherited retinal degenerative disease that affects about 100,000 people nationwide.”

The professor said he modeled this prosthesis after the traditional hearing aids. “The device to allow deaf patients to be able to hear was just starting. It made me think that if you stimulated electrically certain parts of visual pathway, that you could actually get a person to see a spot of light”.

The invention can be defined as a sheet of electrodes implanted in the eye.

“It is intended to provide electrical stimulation of the retina to induce visual perception in blind individuals. It is indicated for use in patients with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa. A miniature video camera housed in the patient's glasses captures a scene. The video is sent to a small patient-worn computer (i.e., the video processing unit – VPU) where it is processed and transformed into instructions that are sent back to the glasses via a cable. These instructions are transmitted wirelessly to an antenna in the retinal implant. The signals are then sent to the electrode array, which emits small pulses of electricity. These pulses bypass the damaged photoreceptors and stimulate the retina's remaining cells, which transmit the visual information along the optic nerve to the brain, creating the perception of patterns of light. Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns with their retinal implant”, it says on the official website.

The implant was approved by FDA on February 2013 and is available on the market for medical use.

More info: http://www.secondsight.com

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2G9TII8


This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Mark Humayun, born in Pakistan, lives in the USA and is a physician and a professor who created, in 2013, an eye implant inspired by his grandmother, who lost her sight.

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