A man with an inherited form of blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, has been able to identify a coffee mug and various shades of gray using a retina implant, according to work published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The Retina Implant AG is a sub-retinal chip placed in the central macular area behind the retina. Their chip works by converting light that enters the eye into electrical impulses which get fed into the optic nerve behind the eye. It requires an external battery which was connected to a cable that protruded from the skin behind the ear.
It's not ready for prime-time just yet and they're not the only ones working on a solution. The BBC notes that a rival chip by US-based Second Sight sits on top of the retina and has already been implanted in patients, but the Second Sight version requires the patient to be fitted with a camera fixed to a pair of glasses.
Citation: Eberhart Zrenner, Karl Ulrich Bartz-Schmidt, Heval Benav, Dorothea Besch, Anna Bruckmann, Veit-Peter Gabel, Florian Gekeler, Udo Greppmaier, Alex Harscher, Steffen Kibbel, Johannes Koch, Akos Kusnyerik, Tobias Peters, Katarina Stingl, Helmut Sachs, Alfred Stett, Peter Szurman, Barbara Wilhelm, and Robert Wilke, 'Subretinal electronic chips allow blind patients to read letters and combine them to words', Proc. R. Soc. B published online before print November 3, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1747 (free to read)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sweet Irony: The Environmental Impacts Of GMO Sugar Science Denial
- Evidence Of Link Between Childhood Cancer And Phototherapy For Jaundice Examined
- How Does Obesity Cause Disease In Organs Distant From Those Where Fat Accumulates?
- Sexual Harassment in Science What Have We Learned (OP ED)
- Hacking Memory To Follow Through With Intentions
- Networking Lets Sharks Off The Hook
- Distinguished European Scientists Challenge Endocrine Pseudoscience
- "No, I am not saying a lack of belief will result in research showing something does not work. There..."
- "I think the text is quite easy to comprehend considering the difficulty of the subject matter...."
- "If you find a food without chemicals, please let the world know. You will get the biggest Nobel..."
- "Hi Tommaso, I think that the explanation can be understood with a bit of effort. However I am pretty..."
- "Are you saying that because scientists don't believe in homeopathy then scientific trials won't..."
- When it comes to replicating studies, context matters, an analysis of reproducibility pro
- Squids on the rise as oceans change
- Loss of Y chromosome in blood is associated with developing Alzheimer's disease
- New disease gene will lead to better screening for pediatric heart disease
- Enhanced arginine metabolism may counteract inflammation pathways in asthma