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New retinal implants can give artificial vision to blind people

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Portugal))

In 2020, it was estimated that 75 million people worldwide had no vision. Although it could have been an irreversible condition for some years nowadays, there are several solutions presented by researchers who work to improve the quality of life of citizens who, for multiple reasons, have lost their sight.

The recently presented solution determines that the retina can be stimulated and consequently repaired by stimulating it with points of light. This investigation is being conducted by Diego Ghezzi, professor of neuroengineering at the EPFL School of Engineering.

Despite being innovative, and having started to be developed in 2015, it has not yet been tested in humans, due to the lack of medical approval. However, the researchers created a virtual reality system that simulates what patients will see with the implant.

The new retinal implant works with smart glasses equipped with a camera and a microcomputer. In addition, it uses electrodes that serve to stimulate retinal cells and, consequently, vision.

Regarding the electrodes, the researchers were not sure about the ideal amount. However, the implants contain 10,500 that, in their opinion, will allow patients to achieve sufficient image resolution to distinguish nearby objects.

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