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Title: Bionic Eye - the path traversed and to be traversed

Article Number: EC2/2015/169

Authors: Usha Nandini M

Topic: Medicine


The  darkness  of  the  night  is  broken  by  the  brightness  of  the  sun  and  people  worship  sun for  this. Similarly, providing  even a  flicker of  light  to a person who has lost  his/her sight is  one  of the  greatest  miracles  a  doctor  can  perform.  Bionic  Eye-  visual  prosthetic  devices  serve  this  purpose and  helps  to  restore  some  kind  of  visual  perception  in  patients  with  retinal  pathologies  like  retinitis pigmentosa  and  age  related  macular  degeneration.  The  inception  of  this  idea  dates  back  to  the  18th century  but  the  recent  advances  in  electronics,  robotics  and  other  technologies  has  helped  in materializing  the  idea.  The  basic  function  of  the  device  is  to  receive  the  images  using  a  camera, convert  it  to  electric  signals  and  eventually  stimulate  the  left-over  healthier  parts  of  the  visual pathway.  There  are  various  kinds  of  devices  based  on  the  position  of  implants.  Each  of  them  have varied  advantages.  Understanding  the  existing  systems  would  help  in  improvising  them  or  in finding  better systems to serve  the same  purpose. 


    COMMENT - 1

  • B.Radhika (Viewer) 17th Nov 2015 - 2:09 PM
    Good Effort author!!congratulations!!!bionic is an alteady existing concept of providing vision to the blind ones.through ur article wat r all the new methods have u suggested in improving the concept a better one?
    • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 11:10 AM
      Thank you Dr, Radhika. It's a review article aimed at providing information about the existing researches on Bionic Eye; not suggesting new ideas for the same. Anyway i had just concluded saying that while researchers work on improving the resolution by increasing the number of electrodes and even electrically stimulating the visual cortex, why can’t they think about sensitizing higher neurons to respond to even in a smaller number of electrical signals? Why always physical stimulation, why not think a little bit of chemistry?

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Sunil Chowdary (Viewer) 17th Nov 2015 - 3:32 PM
    Thats a very nice decription..can u enlighten me is there any specific criteria for the patient selection for specific type of implant?
    • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Author) 18th Nov 2015 - 11:12 AM
      Thank you Dr. Sunil Chowdary. There's no established criteria for selection of patients as of now because most of the prosthetic devices mentioned are still at various stages of research and the ones approved are also not common in use. Maybe in further conferences, the criteria for patient selection would be brought about by various ophthalmologists of the world.

  • COMMENT - 3

  • Surya Narayanan Sethumadavan (Viewer) 19th Nov 2015 - 3:32 PM
    Thanks for a good article. As a practicing doctor, my question is about the financial implications? How expensive is this?
    • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Author) 19th Nov 2015 - 4:50 PM
      Thank you Doctor. These are just born out of research sir and hence are quite expensive. The Argus 2 implant itself might cost about 150,000 dollars without including the cost of surgery etc.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • Haseemdeen (Viewer) 23rd Nov 2015 - 6:36 PM
    These is nice article ............what is the progress in developing the bionic-eye in this era...???
    • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Author) 24th Nov 2015 - 12:51 PM
      Thank you. It is progressing quite fast. Bionic Vision Australia and Argus 2 are at the verge of release of next generation prosthetic devices

  • COMMENT - 5

  • Amitabha Ray (Viewer) 25th Nov 2015 - 10:35 PM
    Good paper. However, I wish there was a detailed figure of the proposed anatomical pathways.

  • COMMENT - 6

  • Usha Nandini Marimuthu (Author) 26th Nov 2015 - 7:20 PM
    Thank you Dr. Ray. I will try to include such descriptions next time.