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)
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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Highly regarded engineer and physicist Ransom Stephens speaks with Design News about his extensive science and engineering background, the serious yet funny study of neuroscience, and how one primes their brain for innovation.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.