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ANZ J Surg. 2016 Sep;86(9):654-9. doi: 10.1111/ans.13616. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

Advances in implantable bionic devices for blindness: a review.

Lewis PM1,2,3,4, Ayton LN5,6,7, Guymer RH5,6,7, Lowery AJ3,4, Blamey PJ8, Allen PJ5,6,7, Luu CD5,6,7, Rosenfeld JV1,2,3,4,9.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2
Department of Surgery, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
3
Monash Vision Group, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
4
Monash Institute of Medical Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
5
Centre for Eye Research Australia, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
6
Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
7
Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
8
Bionics Institute, Department of Medical Bionics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
9
F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Since the 1950s, vision researchers have been working towards the ambitious goal of restoring a functional level of vision to the blind via electrical stimulation of the visual pathways. Groups based in Australia, USA, Germany, France and Japan report progress in the translation of retinal visual prosthetics from the experimental to clinical domains, with two retinal visual prostheses having recently received regulatory approval for clinical use. Regulatory approval for cortical visual prostheses is yet to be obtained; however, several groups report plans to conduct clinical trials in the near future, building upon the seminal clinical studies of Brindley and Dobelle. In this review, we discuss the general principles of visual prostheses employing electrical stimulation of the visual pathways, focusing on the retina and visual cortex as the two most extensively studied stimulation sites. We also discuss the surgical and functional outcomes reported to date for retinal and cortical prostheses, concluding with a brief discussion of novel developments in this field and an outlook for the future.

KEYWORDS:

bionics; blindness; brain; prosthesis; retina; vision

PMID:
27301783
PMCID:
PMC5132139
DOI:
10.1111/ans.13616
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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