SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Restoring Sight with Wireless Implants
From Nature News
The development of retinal implants has been dogged by problems of unwieldiness since the first implantable stimulator for vision restoration was developed in 1968. Sticking a mess of electronics, with wires, cables and inductive coils, into the human visual system was always going to be a tricky business.
James Loudin and his colleagues at Stanford University in California have developed a solution that overcomes many of these problems by the use of special glasses that fire infrared signals into the eye and onto an implanted array of silicon photodiodes. The system simplifies what needs to be implanted and both transmits visual data and power directly to the implants, eliminating the need for any bulky external power source. Their work is published today in Nature Photonics.
In order to explain how the set-up would work, Loudin regularly uses the Star Trek character Geordi LaForge as an analogy. "I'm not well versed in Star Trek any more, and I don't think Geordi had implants," he says. "However, like his visor, our patients cannot see without the goggles."
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.