Blind World Magazine

Artificial Vision.
Platinum helps the blind to see.

December 16, 2005.
Platinum Today (UK).

A new implant has been created by scientists which uses platinum to help those suffering from blindness caused by eye diseases.

Professor Mark Humayun at the University of Southern California and his team have developed an artificial retina that can be implanted into the eye which can transform pictures taken by a special camera.

Using a tiny electronic retinal stimulator chip, which is created from platinum and silicone studded with 16 electrodes, the technology enables a lightweight video camera mounted on a pair of glasses to send images to the brain.

"When the electrodes then stimulate the retina, that information is sent to the brain and allows the patient to see," Professor Humayun explained to delegates at the Second Department of Energy International Symposium on Artificial Sight, according to the Methuselah Foundation.

While the platinum implant currently only offers limited restoration of vision, with currently only light and dark patches being visible and not images, Professor Humayun is continuing to develop the technology and is hopeful that in the future it will allow people with damaged retinas to see properly.

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