New Retinal Implants Could Give Artificial Vision To The Blind

By: | March 8th, 2021

Image courtesy: EPFL

A ray of hope for blind people, as a potential cure for blindness, is on the way. Researchers have come up with a retinal implant that would create an artificial vision for the blind human eye.

It is not like past technologies that involved eyeglasses with a built-in camera or brain chips to alter sight. But this innovative technique will require an operation to embed the eye with a retinal implant. This implant would require over 10,000 electrodes that would help in creating artificial vision for blind people.

How it works

This implant works with camera-equipped smart glasses and a microcomputer and uses electrodes to stimulate retinal cells. The camera in the smart glasses will take the images. Then this data will be sent to a microcomputer located in one of the eyeglasses’ end-pieces. So, after this microcomputer will transform the data into light signals.

Then the electrodes in the retinal implant will use these light signals to stimulate the retina. As the result, the person will be able to see a black-and-white version of the image. Although it will be very different from true sight but would allow people to distinguish shapes and, ultimately objects.  

Professor Diego Ghezzifrom Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne said, “Our system is designed to give blind people a form of artificial vision by using electrodes to stimulate their retinal cells.”

He added, “It’s like when you look at stars in the night sky – you can learn to recognize specific constellations. Blind patients would see something similar with our system,”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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