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New artificial eye planned for clinical trial

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 | bitcoin updates

      
    
  New artificial eye for clinical trial provided

      

    

    
    
      
          21.09.2017 08:34 UhrSascha Mattke
          
      
      
      
      
    

    
        
            
        
        
    
    
    
              Can the natural visual system of people be replaced almost completely by cameras, computer technology and electrodes? In a clinical study, this question is to be clarified.
            
            
            
                    
            The US company Second Sight intends this year to begin a clinical trial with a system called Orion that is potentially suitable for all people who are blind because of non-genetic causes. Orion is a further development of the product Argus II, which has been approved in Europe since 2011 but can only help patients with the hereditary disease retinitis pigmentosa. Orion, on the other hand, circumvents a larger part of the natural vision system and could be used more widely, Technology Review reports online in "Camera instead of the eye".
Argus II works with a camera attached to a pair of glasses. The images captured by it are sent to a small processor on the patient's body, which converts them into a set of instructions with special software and passes them on to a chip implanted in the vicinity of the retina. As a sequence of electrical pulses, these instructions are then sent to an electrode array around the eye. This technology can help with retinitis pigmentosa, because this disease destroys only specialized photoreceptors, while the remaining retina cells remain intact.
The new Orion system is based on 90% Argus II, but largely bypasses the human eye. Instead, an electrode array is placed on the visual cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for processing visual information. If electrical impulses occur here, the brain is also likely to perceive light patterns. "In some types of blindness the optic nerve is damaged, so you have to go deeper. With Orion, we are basically replacing the eye and the optic nerve completely, "says Robert Greenberg, board chairman of Second Sight. Potentially, technology can "help anyone who has lost sight, regardless of the cause."
Read more at Technology Review online:
(SMA)

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