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Subspecialties Retina, Basic & Translational Research, Business and Innovation

Star Gazing

Researchers at EPFL’s School of Engineering have developed an implant that uses electrodes to stimulate retinal cells, offering a form of artificial vision. Smart glasses capture images in the person’s field of vision and send the data to a microcomputer that converts it into light signals, which are transmitted to the retinal implant’s 10,500 electrodes. The electrodes stimulate the retina so that the wearer sees a black-and-white version of the image made up of dots of light. To make out the shapes, the user must learn to interpret the dots of light the way one would constellations in the night sky. Though the technology is currently not authorized for clinical trials, the engineers are hopeful approval will come soon.

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About the Author

Phoebe Harkin

Associate Editor of The Ophthalmologist

I’ve always loved telling stories. So much so, I decided to make a job of it. I finished a Masters in Magazine Journalism and spent three years working as a creative copywriter before itchy feet sent me (back)packing. It took seven months and 13 countries, but I’m now happily settled on The Ophthalmologist, where I’m busy getting stuck into all things eyeballs.

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