22 Jul 2016

Developing bionic visual prostheses

Monash Vision Group's vision prosthesis.
Australian researchers are undertaking world-class research towards the development of bionic visual prostheses. Teams based at Monash University and the University of Melbourne are developing direct-to-brain and retinal-based devices respectively, that elicit the perception of small spots of light called phosphenes. These phosphenes will then be assembled to produce a basic form of imagery akin to early computer games, albeit with the advantage of modern computer processing power to ensure they display only the most relevant details about the user's environment.

In this paper the authors review the latest advances in retinal and visual cortex stimulation and discusse the surgical and functional outcomes reported to date for retinal and cortical prostheses. They conclude with a brief discussion of advances in the field and an outlook for the future.
Reference: Lewis PM, Ayton LN, Guymer RH, Lowery AJ, Blamey PJ, Allen PJ, Luu CD, Rosenfeld JV. Advances in implantable bionic devices for blindness: a review. ANZ J Surg. 2016 Jun 14. doi: 10.1111/ans.13616. [Epub ahead of print]
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