Wireless eyes

Wireless eyes
Date:1 February 2010

A team of MIT researchers has entered the race to develop an implant that can restore partial vision to the blind. Unlike other implants under development, MIT’s system does not place electrodes directly on the retina, which can damage the eye during implantation. Instead, the device stimulates nerves near the eyeball that carry visual information to the brain.

A pair of eyeglasses, equipped with a camera, beams visual information and power to the chip. A coil around the iris relays the images to a chip attached to the side of the eyeball, which sends the data to electrodes implanted below the retina. The researchers won’t know what patients would “see” until they begin human trials in 2013.

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