Bionic Goggles Could Give Sight to the Blind

/ 6 years ago

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UK regulators have given the go-ahead to trial a revolutionary new technology that could give people who have lost their sight due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Usher syndrome, cone-rod dystrophy, and choroideremia their sight back. IRIS II, developed by French technology firm Pixium Vision, is a head-mounted visor that processes and transmits visual signals to the brain via a retinal implant.

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IRIS II features an epi-retinal implant with 150 electrodes, which receives visual signals from the bio-inspired camera mounted in the visor. Trials of IRIS II will take place at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital following approval by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

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“We are excited to participate in the clinical trial of Iris II and be the first site in the UK,” Dr Mahi Muqit, the consultant ophthalmologist conducting the trial, said. “Patients with RP can now benefit from a new choice of retinal implant that may potentially further improve visual outcomes. This new clinical trial is key for ophthalmic reference centres like Moorfields to evaluate the latest technologies.”

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“We’re always pleased to hear of new clinical trials being launched and welcome this announcement,” Tina Houlihan, chief executive of the charity RP Fighting Blindness, commented. “Retinal implant technology is of great interest to our patient group and the progress made by researchers in the field over the past few years has been very encouraging. We wish those running the trial the very best of luck and look forward to learning about its outcomes.”

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