Researchers Claim They Have Cured Blindness With Bionic Eye

[Petr Novák, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons]

For centuries, researchers have been trying to find a cure for blindness and failing sight. According to some historians, “the first inventor of wearable glasses is unknown. However, the Romans first discovered the ability to use to glass to enhance their ability to see small text, creating small magnifying glasses with spheres.

The first wearable glasses known to history appeared in Italy during the 13th century. Primitive glass-blown lenses were set into wooden or leather frames (or occasionally, frames made from animal horn) and then held before the face or perched on the nose. Mostly used by monks, these grew in popularity and the technology improved through the Renaissance.

Artwork remains the best testament that these glasses existed, as early Renaissance paintings sometimes depict scholars using handheld frames or perch-style glasses.” 

Soon, however, glasses and blindness might be a thing of the past. 

A team at Monash University contends they have cured blindness by making the first completely workable bionic eye. Called the “Gennaris bionic vision system” the breakthrough comes after a decade of hard work. It operates “by bypassing damaged optic nerves to allow signals to be transmitted from the retina to the vision center of the brain.”

The India Times wrote, “The system is simple. The user would have to wear a custom-designed headgear that has the camera and a wireless transmitter installed. A set of 9 millimeter tiles are implanted in the brain that receives the signals from the aforementioned receiver.

Researchers are looking to advance their system to help people with untreatable neurological conditions like limb paralysis, quadriplegia, to help make their lives better, “If successful, the MVG [Monash Vision Group] team will look to create a new commercial enterprise focused on providing vision to people with untreatable blindness and movement to the arms of people paralyzed by quadriplegia, transforming their health care,” say researchers.

Researchers have seen successful results in sheep with minimal side effects where it was safely implanted into their brains using a pneumatic inserter with a total of 2,00 hours of simulation. They are now preparing to take it to the next level for its first-ever human clinical trial, that is expected to be conducted in Melbourne.

The researchers are now looking to secure funding to speed up the manufacturing process and distribution.”

Live Science explained how many people could be helped by such a monumental breakthrough. “With nearly 40 million people suffering from blindness worldwide and another 135 million affected by low vision, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first patient to receive a bionic eye was grandfather Keith Hayman in 2009, according to the Association of Optometrists(opens in new tab). He was in his 20s when he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and went blind several years later. 

After being fitted with the bionic eye at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, he was able to see the difference between light and dark and could detect people moving. 

He said: “’It means I can see my grandchildren for the first time. When they come round to see me they wear white t-shirts to help me keep an eye on them. I couldn’t tell you much about what they look like, but at least I can see them coming now!’”

Hopefully those suffering from a loss of eyesight will get relief soon. 

[Read More: Plane Carrying 53 Rescue Dogs And Three People Saved In Crash Landing]


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  1. Can we mass produce said eyes
    global use alone
    Huge $$$$$.
    Outpatient surgery
    See 70s TV show 6 Million Dollar Man, pilot movie
    ( on DVD, streaming)
    Must for VA for our GIs, other

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