Back in the 1970's we had Steve Austin the bionic man who could run at speeds of over 60 mph, had bionic limbs with the pulling power the equivalent of a bulldozer and a bionic eye with a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities. In reality we are still some way from a real life version of the bionic man but we are a step closer in creating a bionic eye
The bionic eye, also called a visual prosthesis is an experimental visual device intended to restore functional vision in those suffering from partial or total blindness. Many devices have been developed, usually modelled on bionic ear devices, a type of neural prosthesis in use since the mid-1980s. The idea of using electrical current to provide sight dates back to the 18th century.
Who gets a bionic eye?
The ability to give sight to a blind person via a bionic eye depends on the circumstances surrounding the loss of sight. For retinal prostheses, which are the most prevalent visual prosthetic under development, patients with vision loss due to degeneration of photo-receptors are the best candidate for treatment. Candidates with the most success are those where the optic nerve was developed prior to the onset of blindness. Persons born with blindness may lack a fully developed optical nerve, which typically develops prior to birth, however though neuro-plasticity it is possible for the nerve, and sight, to develop after implantation.(more…)