Nov 082010
 

Functional scheme of subretinal implants. (Credit: © Retina Implant AG)

Research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B reveals that a group of researchers based in Germany have developed a retinal implant that has allowed three blind people to see shapes and objects within days of the implant being installed.

One blind person was even able to identify and find objects placed on a table in front of him, as well as walking around a room independently and approaching people, reading a clock face and differentiating seven shades of grey. The device, which has been developed by the company Retinal Implant AG together with the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the University of Tuebingen, represents an unprecedented advance in electronic visual prostheses and could eventually revolutionise the lives of up 200,000 people worldwide who suffer from blindness as a result of retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease.

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