Digital Sensors Can Replace Damaged Retina, Restore Eye-Sight

August 17, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Now, there is a chance that technology can defeat blindness in human beings. A new technique developed by neuroscientists can make a camera and processor to replace visual organs which are impaired.

Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist was able to find out that in most cases of impaired eye-sight the reason is the damage caused to retina- the light sensitive part of the eye, which is somewhat equivalent to the sensor of a camera.

After long research, she was able to restore sight in mice which have lost vision due to retinal damage. When the damaged retina was bypassed with the help of digital sensors and a processor, the mice was able to track moving objects and was reportedly able to identify a baby face.

However, it is no mean feat considering the difficulty with which the ganglions in the retina network accept the presence of an artificial retina. The ganglion cells on the retina layer actually turn the visible light into brain signals based in the light incidence on the retina. Dr. Nirenberg was able to bypass that process with the help of the digital counterparts.

The exact effect of the restored sight is not yet confirmed as it has not been tried on humans. Many researchers have earlier tried bypassing damaged visual organs using camera sensor but they were not very effective.

Dr. Nirenberg was able to make a difference since she managed to get the ganglions to convert the digital signals from the sensor into neurotic signals.

We hope the technology will improve and offer sharp sight to visually impaired people.

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