Don’t you just love technological advancements in the medical field? Scientists have managed to come up with extremely small “solar panels” that are implanted into the eye, and this might eventually help restore vision to the blind without requiring to rely on wires that are unsightly, not to mention uncomfortable. We are talking about a wireless source of power here, and since it is derived from solar energy, you know that it ought to be able to run indefinitely (in theory, at least, without subscribing to normal wear and tear). Second Sight from Sylmar, California have inspired this prosthetic retina, where a camera detects visual information that is then relayed to an implant within the eye using wires, which in turn replaces damaged photoreceptors. Too bad too many wires are involved in the process, and James Loudin of Stanford University in California have decided to circumvent this situation by constructing a small wireless implant out of photovoltaic pixels, which is basically a miniaturized version of the rooftop solar panels.
A video camera mounted on a pair of glasses will be able to relay the information to photovoltaic implant thanks to a beam of low-intensity infrared light. This implant will in turn, convert the light into electrical activity to stimulate neurons, and the brain will then receive such visual information without requiring any wires being set into the implant. Hopefully the clinical trials are successful enough to see it debut in the real world.
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