Science & Technology

Vision without eyes? The new OpticSELINE tech says yes

Last Updated: Friday 30 August 2019

Scientists from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) & Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy, are developing technology for the blind. It will help bypass the eyeball entirely and transmit visual signals directly to the brain. The optic nerve of the blind person will be stimulated by a new type of intraneural electrode called OpticSELINE. Scientists claim that they have successfully tested the technology on rabbits. Blindness affects at least 39 million people across the globe. Some Blindness is temporary but some are permanent. Scientists are trying to aid the permanent blind. The 12 electrode array will produce phosphenes which create a sensation of seeing light in the form of white patterns, without retina activation. This technology can help 0.5 million people suffering Retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that causes loss of vision. It is also safer and effective than other technologies like retinal implants and brain implants. A human OpticSELINE can have a maximum of 40-60 electrodes, even though this far from reproducing the eyesight, but these can act as daily visual aid.

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