image courtesy shawn kelly

researchers at MIT are currently working on a retinal implant that could help blind people regain much of their vision. the implant is designed to work on people suffering from age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, two of the leading causes of blindness. the user would wear eyeglasses with an embedded camera to capture data. the camera would transmit the information to a chip implanted at the side of the eyeball which would process the data and send it to electrodes implanted below the retina. these electrodes would electrically stimulate the nerve cells, taking over the function of lost retinal cells. the system wouldn’t restore normal vision but it could help blind people more easily navigate their environment and possibly recognize faces. the researchers hope to test the implant in blind patients in the next three years to see if the prototype proves effective.

read more http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/microchip-blind-092309.html

microchip retinal implant image courtesy shawn kelly

microchip retinal implant image courtesy shawn kelly