Retinal Microchip Restores Some Sight in Blind Patients

November 6th, 2010 - 1:07 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 5 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Researchers in Germany have recently managed to create a battery operated microchip which was able to restore visual ability in three different patients who were blind as a result of an inherited condition which caused them to lose their vision.

There were eleven patients in all for the experiment, with three of those able to tell the difference in shapes and recognize different objects within a few days of the testing. The chip, which was placed in the patients at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the University of Tübingen, is considered a retinal prosthetic. It copies the actions of those light sensing cells which no longer work in blind people.

According to Dr Eberhart Zrenner, who is the founding director of Retinal Implant AG which makes the chip, “The results of this pilot study provide strong evidence that the visual functions of patients blinded by a hereditary retinal dystrophy can, in principle, be restored to a degree sufficient for use in daily life.”

These findings were published in the ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B’.

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