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article imageImplant of bionic eye can restore the sight of millions of blind

article:116443:7::0
By sibananda     Feb 16, 2007 in Health
A bionic eye implant may help millions of blind people to see the world.
US researchers have been given green signal by the government to go ahead with the practical project They will use prototype device in 50 to 75 patients.
The Argus II system uses a spectacle-mounted camera to feed visual information to electrodes in the eye.The researchers got success in less improved version of the system. When in that retinal implant the blinds could see light, shape and movements.
"What we are trying to do is take real-time images from a camera and convert them into tiny electrical pulses that would jump-start the otherwise blind eye and allow patients to see," said Professor Mark Humayun from the University of California.
There are two type of diseases which cause blindness, they are macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa.Both diseases cause the retinal cells to die gradually. Eye become unable to process the light ,making the human blind
The new devices work by implanting an array of tiny electrodes into the back of the retina.
A camera is used to capture pictures, and a processing unit, about the size of a small handheld computer and worn on a belt, converts the visual information into electrical signals. These are then sent back to the glasses and wirelessly on to a receiver just under the surface of the front of the eye, which in turn feeds them to the electrodes at the rear. It happens in real time.
The new implant is too small compared to earlier one, which require very small surgery. The scientists are studying the impact of implant over the brain.
It is a very good news for blinds and charitable organizations associated with the blind. When commercialized those implant will cost $30000 each.
Readers are requested to click to above link to see the graphical representation of technology in detail.
article:116443:7::0
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