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Electronic Vision Replacement

Larry Abel l.abel at latrobe.edu.au
Fri May 26 00:10:41 EST 2000

Bubba wrote:
> Umm, ok, I was kind of hoping for some info as well if you please. :)
> --
> Like science and religion, I like to keep my beer and my
> milk seperate.  Not that I have anything against beer,
> or milk, I just dont think they mix very well.
> Peter Fellin wrote in message <392a880a at pink.one.net.au>...
> >Bubba <cwhizard at icqmail.com> wrote in message
> >news:sickgfqpqod27 at corp.supernews.com...
> >> A fe years ago I heard that several scientists where working on
> developing chips that could stimulate the human optic nerve and produce the
> >perception of vision.  I was wondering what the state of this research is and if it
> >has reached medical viability.
> >
> >Yes, it has -- thanks to work done in Europe, Asia, Australia, Greenland,
> >and South America. Perhaps even Africa has had something to do with it. ;-)
> >
> >Peter
> >

Well no, it hasn't, unless you count generating a few spots of perceived
light as medical viability.  There's a lot of research going on on
various sorts of electronic implants that could replace various aspects
of retinal function, but given the problems of implementing the
hardware, designing something that could stay in the eye and figuring
out how to program the device, they're a fair ways from clinical
application.  Some URLs from Japan, the US and Germany from groups doing
this work are


All of the above work only applies when the person has previously
experienced vision and still has in their eyes the cells that give rise
to the optic nerve.  If those cells are non-functional, you'd have to
implant something in the brain; there's been research on this as well
but it's even further from clinical application.  There's also been a
lot of work on retinal cell transplants, inserting fetal retinal cells
into a diseased eye and letting them connect.  That's pretty
preliminary, too.

Hope that helps,

Larry Abel
La Trobe University

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