Scientists from all over the world have been working for decades to create an artificial organ of vision that can completely replace the human eye. In France, researchers conducted a series of human trials. They have developed a bionic body was able to restore sight to patients.
In the group of subjects, there were five people suffering from macular degeneration — a disease that leads to the death of photoreceptors of the Central retinal zone due to impaired blood circulation. Macular degeneration is considered one of the most common causes of blindness in the elderly.
In order to "teach" the brain to see, engineers have created a microchip, which is installed behind the retina. A special implant is inserted into the patient's optic nerve, which is able to capture digital signals and then transmit them to the optic nerve. The latter translates and processes the image, sending it to the brain.
The patient must wear smart glasses with the camera. After receiving the image, the camera transposes the "seen" in the infrared signals and sends them to the microchip. It transcodes the data to the implant, which in turn sends it to the optic nerve. The test allowed all five patients to again distinguish the outlines of objects, the situation in the room and the faces of people. Three of the five were able to distinguish letters and read.
The engineers of the experimental company Pixium Vision are sure that it will take about five years to finalize the technology and mass introduction of this method of curing blindness.