A computer chip implanted near the eye's retina is well on its way to offering some restored vision. People blinded by eye diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa and age-related degeneration of the eye will be benefitted by the new development.
The implant works for eye diseases in which healthy retinal neurons remain intact after they lose use of the eye's photoreceptors. These receptors convert images into electric impulses. Researchers reported that tests show faces can be recognised and words in large type can be read. Human tests started recently.
Dr. Mark Humayun, formerly of the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is leading the research at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
To capture images first an external camera mounted in an eyeglass frame captures the image and converts it into an electrical signal that is electronically transmitted to the flexible silicon biochip surgically attached near the retina.The chip electronically stimulates the healthy cells of the retina, which sends the signals conveying he image to the brain.