Thursday, May 03, 2012

15000-pixel Retina Sensors Implanted in the UK

BBC: Oxford Eye Hospital and King's College Hospital in London, UK carry out clinical trials implanting 1,500-pixel sensors into the eyes of two blind patients. When light enters the eye and reaches the 3 sq. mm chip, it stimulates the pixels which sends electronic signals to the optic nerve and from there to the brain. The chip can have its sensitivity altered via an external power unit which connects to the chip via a magnetic disc on the scalp. The implant was developed by a German company, Retina Implant AG. The patients are now able to perceive light and even some shapes.

Thanks to CDM for the link!

4 comments:

  1. Interestingly, there's a related BBC article today "Massive rise in Asian eye damage" about myopia among urban school students. The authors suggest that a heavy emphasis on studying leads to children missing sun exposure that helps combat the inception of myopia during childhood. So today's focus on educational achievement may have a hitherto overlooked cost in focus tomorrow. Maybe retinal implants will be a huge market because people have spent too much time preparing for tests and not enough time playing outside.

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  2. Does CDM mean that AF lens should be have a new market application :) ?

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  3. I was thinking more along the lines of implanted image sensors for people suffering complications due to high myopia. That's ten to twenty percent of study population.

    Let's take just China. Suppose the population there peaks at 1.6 billion, with 70% in urban areas and no efforts to combat the problem. The myopia figure might be around 900 million people. The high myopia figure could be 180 million people.

    360 million units in just one country seems to me to be a large market for a medical device image sensor. And because they would be implanted they are unlikely to have particularly low costs or profit margins at any stage of the supply chain.

    There are probably really good times ahead for Asian opthamologists and supporting technology companies.

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  4. Implanted image sensors works on exciting the retinal cells by "high current" bipolar signals: what they do not tell you is that you slowly damage the cells by this over excitation, reducing the possibility of saving the retina by the alternate but promising stem-cell therapies.

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