> Prosthesis retinal self-powered with photovoltaics, a step forward against the cecità

researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, led by James Loudin, have developed the new type of retinal prosthesis, self-powered, drawing from the experience gained in the photovoltaic sector. The device, installed in the eyes of the rats, has given satisfactory results that have been described on the Nature Photonics.

According to the researchers, the research provides concrete solutions to combat the cecità also in humans. In fact, the cells that feed the equipment can help eliminate bulky and impractical external components.

The new retinal prosthesis is designed for the processing of the flow of visual data that occurs thanks to the glasses, on which is installed a miniature camera, and a small Pc.

The microdisplay included in the glasses to get images that are sent to the chip silicon photovoltaic (located behind the retina), which has the size of a human hair.

The chip in turn sends the signals to the brain that processes the image and returns the view to the patient

Daniel Palanker, one of the researchers, explained that, in summary, the operation is similar to that of the solar panels that we see on the roofs, “the chip converts light into electric current, which flows in the retina”.

According to the researchers of the new prosthesis could be used by patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

15 may 2012

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