In our world about 40 million people are suffering from blindness and about 140 million people are suffering from low vision. If we talk about India, we have the world’s largest numbers of people suffering from blindness. The objective of BIONIC EYE is to restore visual signals to those who are suffering from eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.
A bionic eye is not the same thing as a prosthetic eye. Prosthetic eyes (also called “glass eyes” or “artificial eyes”) replace the physical structure and appearance of an eye that must be removed due to trauma, pain, disfigurement or disease. Bionic eye implants, on the other hand, work inside the existing eye structures or in the brain. They are designed to achieve functional vision goals — as opposed to physical, cosmetic ones.
What is a bionic eye?
It’s an artificial eye which provides visual sensations to the brain. It consists of electronic systems that have image sensors, microprocessors, receivers, radio transmitters and retinal chips. This technology helps the blind people to restore their vision.
There are universities and research institutes where biotechnologists have been working on the bionic eye, and they have come with quite a few devices which treat specific eye diseases.
Some of these devices include:
1. Argus retinal prosthesis
2. Microsystem-based visual prosthesis (MIVP).
3. Implantable miniature telescope.
4. Tübingen MPDA Project Alpha IMS.
5. Harvard/MIT Retinal Implant.
6. Artificial silicon retina (ASR).
7. Photovoltaic retinal prosthesis (PRIMA).
How does this device work?
retinal prosthesis consists of five main parts:
- A digital camera that’s built into a pair of glasses. It captures images in real time and sends images to a microchip.
- A video-processing microchip that’s built into a handheld unit. It processes images into electrical pulses representing patterns of light and dark and sends the pulses to a radio transmitter in the glasses.
- A radio transmitter that wirelessly transmits pulses to a receiver implanted above the ear or under the eye
- A radio receiver that sends pulses to the retinal implant by a hair-thin implanted wire
- A retinal implant with an array of 60 electrodes on a chip measuring 1 mm by 1 mm.
- At last, it’s all about the cost for Bionic Eye, for a pair of Eye it would cost something around $30,000 which is not a favorable amount for the affected person.
- Not every type of eye disease affected person will be treated by this like it will not be helpful for glaucoma patients, mainly it help the person affected from retinitis pigmentosa.
- An artificial replacement for a human body is a risky task as it may cause death or some serious situations may occur.
- As we know it’s not a human eye it’s a bionic eye so an affected one would not be able to get 100% of perfect vision.