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18 May 2012

Restoring sight ― with photonics



Talk about changing life for the better: We've been hearing a lot lately about work by Daniel Palanker's group at Stanford University in restoring sight with a retinal prosthesis using a photovoltaic chip. In the video above, Palanker details the wireless system in the BiOS Hot Topics session at SPIE Photonics West last January.

The Stanford method is intended for people experiencing retinal degenerative disorders. It uses a photocell sub-retinal implant and an external projection system to relay images from an outside camera using near-infrared (IR) light directed to the photocell array, which is made from a thinned silicon safer that is flexible enough to match the contour of the eye.

The surgical implant is a simple procedure, and provides the patient with a near-normal gaze angle. Using light in the IR spectrum avoids complications from viable retina tissues.

Research team member James Loudin received the Pascal Rol Foundation Award, sponsored by Topcon Advanced Biomedical Imaging Lab, at Photonics West in 2011 in recognition of the work.

Read more about the work in the Stanford University press release or view the abstract and access the group's latest publication in the SPIE Digital Library.

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