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Retinal Prosthetic System

Retinal prosthetic system

The retinal prosthetic system (illustrated here) consists of an extra-ocular unit and an intra-ocular unit. The first is mounted on a pair of glasses and is responsible for collecting the image by means of a video camera and then transmitting an encoded, digitized image to the intra-ocular unit. The second is composed of a receiving telemetry system, a stimulation current driver and an electrode array to stimulate retinal cells, thus imparting vision perception.

This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grants BES 98-10914 and BES 98-08040, and was used as the foundation for NSF's new Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems (BMES), headquartered at the University of Sounthern California. The center brings physicians, biologists and engineers together to develop microelectronic systems that interact with living human tissues. The resulting technology will enable implantable/portable devices that can treat presently incurable diseases such as blindness, loss of neuromuscular control, paralysis and the loss of cognitive function.

Credit: Intraocular Prosthesis Group at Johns Hopkins University and North Carolina State University; illustration by Jerry Lim

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