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Artificial Retina Is Solar Powered

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Elizabeth M
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Innovations in the medical field
Elizabeth M   9/26/2013 6:18:44 AM
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Some of the most interesting technological innovations are happening in the field of medical, and involve the use of nanotechnology. This artificial retina is a prime example. The ability to restore full sight to someone who has lost it is quite an incredible proposition, and to use a renewable energy source to power the device shows real forward thinking as well. So not only does this invention have the potential to do good for a patient, but it also is environmentally friendly.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
TJ McDermott   9/27/2013 1:21:29 AM
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Wow.  Just, WOW!

I hesitate to ask (because I'll just make myself queasy), but curiosity is always going to win out.

It sounds like this artificial retina gets implanted inside the eye, back against the existing retina?  Or is it part of an entire artificial eye?

We can look beyond the horizon (if you'll permit a turn of phrase) to what might be added to this technology in the future.  Laser range finder (the idea of lasers shooting out of one's eyes is too good to pass up)?  Autozooming?  Image capturing?

 

greenewr
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How is the device connected to the nerves?
greenewr   9/27/2013 10:15:40 AM
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No mention of how the nanotubes will be connected to the nerves.  My understanding of biological implants is that this is the point were most systems don't function well.  Nerve connections for relativly simpler systems like artificial hands are not that great yet, and here were talking about nerves that connect to rods and cones.

Orin Laney
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Photon source matters
Orin Laney   9/27/2013 1:17:39 PM
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Light powered makes sense but not solar powered.  Surely the implant design does not require the recipient to stare at the sun. 

eunice12
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Re: Photon source matters
eunice12   9/27/2013 2:11:21 PM
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Dr. Flood is no dummy. No one said they had to stare at the sun. Light can come from the same source your eye gets it from. There is a tiny amount of electricity needed to make sight.

eunice12
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Re: How is the device connected to the nerves?
eunice12   9/27/2013 2:21:52 PM
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EnteroMedics implants a device that sends messages into the stomach's vagus nerve to deal with obesity and is doing FDA trials now. The device affect the vagus nerve which messages the brain advising whether the stomach is full etc. The hope is the device can make the brain think the stomach is full when not and send messages to other parts of the body that respond when a person is hungry.

They have been at it for years so there is no answer yet if it will get a good outcome.

eunice12
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
eunice12   9/27/2013 2:34:26 PM
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TJ McDerdermott. They said it is to replace rod and cone damage so is not part of a whole new artificial eye. Doing an entire eye would be really complicated. My previous posts were to the other 2 posters above yours, but hitting reply doesn't work.

Orin Laney
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Re: Photon source matters
Orin Laney   9/27/2013 2:54:14 PM
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The terminology is wrong, not the science.  Look up "solar" in the dictionary to understand the problem with the choice of word.  Hence, "light powered" is correct, but "solar powered" is not -- unless the person happens to be viewing actual sunlight, e.g. "staring at the sun".

etmax
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
etmax   9/28/2013 4:13:25 AM
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Thanks for another interesting post. I wonder how they will get 1million+ nerves on a spherical curved surface to match up with what looks like a flat surface?

briantutt
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
briantutt   9/28/2013 2:08:17 PM
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I am a design engineer by trade.  My wife lost the central vision in her left eye because part of the retina died in an occular stroke.  I have often wondered if someone was going to invent some sort of lens that could divert the light coming through the lens to other parts of the retina to give people like her vision back.  This article on retina replacement if facinating.  It gives hope that she may be able to regain sight again.

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