Implanted retina gives sight to the blind

Implanted retina gives sight to the blind

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

The NR600 attaches to the back of the eye and includes an array of 26 by 26 silicon needles that connect to the photoreceptors. Retinal implant is stimulated by wireless, rechargeable eye glasses that provide the implant with power and send captured scene information to the implant. They also allow the patient to fine-tune different light settings.

The NR600 mimics the physiological processes of the human eye and restores functional vision to persons blinded by retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

These are the first in-human retinal implant results for the NR600.

The two patients are part of a European clinical trial for the purpose of obtaining CE approval for the NR600. They were both blinded by retinitis pigmentosa and have had the NR600 implanted by Professor Peter Stalmans, one of Europe’s leading retina specialists with the operations performed at the Department of Ophthalmology of the University Hospital Leuven, Belgium.

The Nano Retina implant is inserted into the eye in a minimally invasive surgical procedure under local anaesthetic with no need for hospitalization. The estimated procedure duration is less than 1 hour. After implantation the stimulation parameters are calibrated and optimized to the patient’s individual needs.

Both patients reported visual effects as soon as the devices were switched on.

In the case of the second patient Professor Stalmans said: “The device was activated for the first time, and the result was amazing: this patient has been completely in the dark for 5 years now, and she immediately reported seeing an image in the center of her visual field when the device was activated, and could show with her hands the size of the image that she saw.”

Related links and articles:

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Bosch preps next-generation smartglasses platform

Solar retinal implants may restore sight to the blind

Silicon ‘retina’ demonstrated on video

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