February 1, 2013
(More info below)
Presented by Professor Steven Prawer, Director, Melbourne Materials Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia
The diseases of age related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa are one of the main causes of blindness and cause untold suffering for those afflicted with these conditions.
Electrical stimulation of the retina has already been shown to restore partial vision in some patients, albeit at low resolution.
Higher resolution may be achievable by taking advantage of modern nanofabrication techniques to build stimulating arrays with hundreds or even thousands of electrodes that will allow patients to read large print and recognize faces of loved ones.
However, formidable challenges remain in the fabrication of such devices.
I will describe the work of Bionic Vision Australia in meeting these challenges and show the results of our first trials in patients.
I will also describe the particular the use of diamond for the direct stimulation of the retina and for the encapsulation of the bionic implant.
Having established that diamond is an excellent material for neural stimulation, we consider how diamond can be used in a range of neural prostheses.
The Diamond Bionic Eye - YouTube