September 24, 2009
Microchip in eye for vision restoration
By inserting a chip inside the eye, the blind could see better is like moving very close to reality. Researchers at MIT are working on a retinal implant that can bypass damaged cells and directly offer visual input to the brain. Patients receiving the implant will have to wear a pair of glasses that will be having a tiny camera which will send images to a microchip implanted in the eyeball that channels the input to the brain. This chip will not restore vision by 100% but will definitely help a blind person navigate in the room. The glasses that the patient wears contain a coil that can wirelessly transmit power to the receiving coils surrounding the eyeball. The microchip is encased in a sealed titanium case to avoid damage because of water. The chip will receive visual information and activates the electrodes that in turn fire the nerve cells that carry visual input to the brain. The research and the team are led by John Wyatt who is a professor of electrical engineering in MIT. The goal is to produce a chip that can be put in the eye for at least 10 years. There are risks involved because they cannot damage the eye while inserting the chip.