Retinal Prostheses Without the Wiring?
Are flexible, battery- and wire-less, light-sensitive nanotube films the future of retinal implants?
Roisin McGuigan |
Retinal implants – once the stuff of science fiction – are today a reality, with well over 100 patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) having received such devices to date. Enabling the blind to see is an incredible achievement, but the technology used to achieve this incredible feat contains a fair amount of rigid, electronic components, wiring and external equipment. Wouldn’t it be great if the implant just worked on its own? That might just be possible: a photoresponsive material – semiconductor nanocrystal (SCNC) – that can produce light-induced neuronal stimulation, without the need for any external wiring, power sources or processing apparatus (1).
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