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Expert Rev Med Devices. 2014 Jan;11(1):23-30. doi: 10.1586/17434440.2014.862494. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

The functional performance of the Argus II retinal prosthesis.

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NICTA Canberra Research Laboratory, Tower A, 7 London Circuit, Canberra, Australia.


Visual prostheses are devices to treat profound vision loss by stimulating nerve cells anywhere along the visual pathway, typically with electrical pulses. The Argus II implant, developed by Second Sight Medical Products (SSMP, Sylmar, CA, USA), targets the retina and features 60 electrodes that electrically stimulate the surviving retinal neurons. Of the approximately 20 research groups that are actively developing visual prostheses, SSMP has the longest track record. The Argus II was the first visual prosthesis to become commercially available: it received the European conformity mark in 2011 and FDA approval was granted in early 2013 for humanitarian use in the USA. Meanwhile, the Argus II safety/benefit study has been extended for research purposes, and is still ongoing. In this review, we will discuss the performance of the Argus II in restoring sight to the blind, and we will shed light on its expected developments in the coming years.

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