Dec 29, 2020
The world’s first human bionic eye is here, which means several conditions leading to blindness might (eventually) not be. What does it look like? How does a bionic eye work? What will the patient experience? Press play for the answers to these questions and more.
Arthur Lowery is a professor at Monash University and a fellow at ARC Laureate Fellow Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, and for the past several years, he’s been developing the world’s first human bionic eye.
Most people think of some sort of glass eyeball when they think of a bionic eye, but that’s not what this is. Instead, it is a pair of sunglasses equipped with a camera and processing system, along with a coil on the back of the head which transmits power and data through the skull until it reaches a series of tiles, each about the size of half a fingernail. On the base of each tile, there is an electrode which goes into the brain and injects currents, leading to voltages. These voltages make the brain think that it is seeing what is being projected by the system.
Whether someone lost an eye in an accident or injury, has age-related or genetic macular degeneration, or one of many conditions affecting the optic nerve, such as cancer, this technology holds promise.
So, how long until it’s ready to be implanted in a human, and what does the procedure entail? There is already a prototype, but still a number of regulatory components to navigate. Lowery anticipates that within a couple of years, it could be ready for use in humans. He also explains what exactly the procedure entails.
To find out more, tune in and visit https://www.monash.edu/industry/success-stories/bionic-eye.
Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK