Science & Technology

World’s first bionic eye implant a success, says report

The surgery brings hope to people suffering from age-related blindness

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 13 August 2015 | 06:54:47 AM
Representative picture
Representative picture Representative picture

An 80-year-old patient has received the world’s first successful bionic eye implant. The four-hour surgery was performed by surgeons from the University of Manchester, UK, last month.

Ray Flynn, 80, who suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was operated upon by a team led by Paulo Stanga, says a news report published by the university on July 21.

Flyn’s ailment is not painful, but it impairs the central vision. The patient is only left with peripheral vision and has difficulty in reading, driving and recognising faces. Over 500,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition.

Flyn was fitted with a device to convert video images from a miniature camera installed in his glasses. The device was activated on July 1.

“The technology works by turning the images captured by the camera into small electrical pulses. These are transmitted wirelessly to electrodes on the retina surface where they stimulate the remaining cells and replicate the patterns of light for the brain. Over time, Mr Flynn will learn to interpret these patterns and regain vision,” reads the university’s news report.

“The dry form of AMD is a common, but untreatable condition. In the western world, it is the leading cause of sight loss. Unfortunately, with an ageing population, it is becoming more common," the report quotes Stanga.

“Mr Flynn’s progress is truly remarkable,” he says, according to the report. “He is seeing the outline of people and objects very effectively.”

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Related Story:

Researchers develop single dose Ebola vaccine, call it ‘Trojan Horse’

Clue found to strange link between swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy

IEP Resources:

Long-term results from an epiretinal prosthesis to restore sight to the blind

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.