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Artificial Retina Is Solar Powered
9/26/2013

A diagram shows how an artificial retina designed by Natcore Technology would work. The company recently received a patent for the invention, which uses carbon nanotubes layered in semiconductor material to harvest solar energy. The light would fire the nerves of the eye to create the biological processes that cause sight.   (Source: Natcore Technology)
A diagram shows how an artificial retina designed by Natcore Technology would work. The company recently received a patent for the invention, which uses carbon nanotubes layered in semiconductor material to harvest solar energy. The light would fire the nerves of the eye to create the biological processes that cause sight.
(Source: Natcore Technology)

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briantutt
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
briantutt   10/2/2013 4:24:37 PM
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I read about a study where early night vision technology "flipped" your vision over.  so they experimented with glasses that flipped your vision.  One group in the study never took the flipped vision glasses off and over a rather short period of time their brains "flipped" the image back so they where seeing normal again even with the glasses on.  This is why I think maybe the brain would sort out the vision mismatch over time.

dbell5
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Gold
Re: Innovations in the medical field
dbell5   10/2/2013 4:10:56 PM
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Yes, "Wow!" is exactly right!  I had a detached retina, followed by multiple surgeries, vitrectomies, lens removed, etc. Eventually regained some rather distorted sight in that eye (fortunately not my dominant one), then the macula blew out, for no discernible reason. Now, I have some peripheral vision, but no longer wear the +10 diopter contact required to focus it, and have a large "blind spot" in the center.

This prosthesis promises to reconnect to the remaining nerves below the retina ("sub-retinal implant", per Dr. Flood) and could actually restore my central sight. Amazing!

@briantutt: Excellent idea, to divert (it would only take a bit of prism) central images to working periperal retina. I'm afraid the brain would never learn to "fuse" that image with the other eye, but it would still be much more than I have now...

Dave

Elizabeth M
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Re: ARTIFICIAL RETINA
Elizabeth M   10/1/2013 4:40:21 AM
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Hi again, Bob. Thanks for clearing up the question. I still don't have an answer for you and I suspect this really isn't something scientists/doctors would know until the device was tested, which is at least a couple of years off. It is a valid concern and question, though! Hopefully the answer would be yes, if such drugs were required to ensure the patient could use the device effectively for a long time.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Photon source matters
Elizabeth M   10/1/2013 4:38:30 AM
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Thanks for this comment, shehan. I tend to agree with you on quibbling over the "solar/light" debate, especially as right now all we have is a patent and a method for creating this device. Until it makes it to trials, there is no use arguing over it!

Elizabeth M
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Re: ARTIFICIAL RETINA
Elizabeth M   10/1/2013 4:36:35 AM
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Hi, Bob, here is an answer from CTO Dennis Flood, who invented the retina, about whether it replaces the retina itself:

The device will be what is called a subretinal prosthesis.  It will sit in the macula in the region normally occupied by the rods and cones.

Hope that clears things up!

 

eunice12
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Re: Photon source matters
eunice12   9/30/2013 10:58:15 PM
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jmiller   Flood was NASA's top solar scientist so he didn't patented this without considering if it would get enough light. He is light years ahead of the layman in understanding the applications for solar.

 

jmiller
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
jmiller   9/30/2013 10:50:15 PM
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I think it's just amazing what engineers are coming up with when it comes to being able to reeplace body parts that have failed with ones that work.  It is also a little scary because how far does the technology go.  Does it eventually make something that is better than what we already have. 

jmiller
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Re: Photon source matters
jmiller   9/30/2013 10:40:16 PM
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Does the amount of light that one naturally sees while just looking around satisfy the power requirement?

jmiller
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Re: Innovations in the medical field
jmiller   9/30/2013 10:31:58 PM
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I agree. I know people that have problems with 2D/3D and this and I can't imagine how this would impact that.

eunice12
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Iron
Re: Photon source matters
eunice12   9/30/2013 3:14:01 PM
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shehan -  I don't know where you are going with this light pwoered/solar powered post but what I know and what matters is this device is intended to generate impulses from the light that is available, not by looking at the sun. Please let's end the device naming as it is 3 years away from clinical trials. 

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