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Bionic Vision Australia puts bionic eye in sight
Date:3/30/2010

Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) today unveils their wide-view neurostimulator concept a bionic eye that will be implanted into Australia's first recipient of the technology.

The prototype bionic eye, developed by BVA researchers at the University of New South Wales and unveiled today at the BVA consortium's official launch at the University of Melbourne, will deliver improved quality of life for patients suffering from degenerative vision loss caused by retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.

The device, which is currently undergoing testing, consists of a miniature camera mounted on glasses that captures visual input, transforming it into electrical signals that directly stimulate surviving neurons in the retina. The implant will enable recipients to perceive points of light in the visual field that the brain can then reconstruct into an image.

Research Director of Bionic Vision Australia and Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Professor Anthony Burkitt says the device will deliver life-changing vision for recipients.

"We anticipate that this retinal implant will provide users with increased mobility and independence, and that future versions of the implant will eventually allow recipients to recognise faces and read large print," he says.

Bionic Vision Australia Chairman, Professor Emeritus David Penington AC says the BVA team's outstanding expertise will be the key to delivering their ambitious goal of providing bionic vision within the next five years.

"This is an exciting moment in our venture. The team's success is based on our world class multi-disciplinary approach which uses vision clinicians, retinal surgeons, neuroscientists, biomedical and electrical engineers from across the nation," he says.

BVA is a partnership of world-leading Australian research institutions collaborating to develop an advanced retinal prosthesis, or bionic eye, to restor
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Contact: Emma ONeill
eaoneill@unimelb.edu.au
61-383-447-220
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

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