Apr 22 2008Surgeons Implant Bionic Eyes In Blind Patients


Surgeons have successfully implanted "bionic eyes" (similar in design to this, but not this) in two blind patients, in an attempt to restore some of their vision.

The device -- the first of its kind -- incorporates a video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses. This is linked to an artificial retina, which transmits moving images along the optic nerve to the brain and enables the patient to discriminate rudimentary images of motion, light and dark.

The Argus II uses a video camera to capture images. These are converted into electrical signals, which are transmitted wirelessly to the implant behind the retina. The electrodes in the implant unscramble the signal to create a crude black-and-white picture that is relayed along the optic nerve to the brain. The brain can then perceive patterns of light and dark spots corresponding to the electrodes stimulated.

That's great news. I'm all for restoring sight to the blind, and this seems like a real promising technology. They throw in the ability to see through cereal boxes so you can spot the ones with secret decoder rings and I'll laser-pointer myself in the eye right now.

Surgeons give hope to blind with successful 'bionic eye' operations [timesonline]

Thanks to Neil, who can see through walls, for the tip

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Reader Comments

Why's she wearing lipstick?

Boy, better make sure Stevie Wonder never get his hands on one of these. When he gets a good look at who's been dressing him all these years, he's gonna go mideval on someone's ass.

@1, why can't she wear lipstick?
@2, I couldn't agree more.

For myself, I've got nothing really. I don't think my new "black silk" coffee by Folgers has truly kicked in yet. It is mighty tastey though, I'll have to make another pot of it. *smacks lips and lites a new cigg* Ahhhhhhh, life is good.

*slobbers* Blaaack Siillk......

It's delicious, Scott. Too bad you're not here to try some.

This thing is *so freaking* cool. The retina is so incredibly complex. I honestly never thought I would see the day that there was a device like this. We have something like this for the cochlea, but the retina is waaay more difficult. Scott and SG...you can now return to your regularly scheduled flirting ;D

Would you like some Black Silk coffee, mildly? I wouldn't want you to feel left out or anything.

Black Silk aside, this is the coolest thing I have seen all week! I have to say, we are really keeping pace with Science Fiction... except for the flying cars, that we are really slacking on. I would settle for mass transit that works [in LA].

In all seriousness, I don't think it will take as long as Star trek Space Warp 9 or whatever it's called before there are actually those wrap around glasses that give you perfect vision. (I think it was Kunta Kinte that wore them)

Oh and by the way I was talking about coffee as well.....OK, maybe not.....

This is all well and good- but where in the hell are my x-ray vision glasses? I'm still waiting.

OMG, soon it will be just like Geordi La Forge!

Why do people with some kind of damaged body part always end up so UGLY?!

@ 12 - what is your 'damaged body part' then?

Anything. a deformed/broken/whever limb, eyes that dont work, deafness, anything. Physical deformities and damage makes every other feature of a person damn ugly. I mean like, sure, she might have a good personality, but I would *not* tap that.

Nobody would, unless they are similarily deformed.

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