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First bionic eye implanted

After the approval of the US Food and Drug administration, the first implantation of bionic eye (artificial retina) took place at University of Michigan, US. The surgeries were performed by Thiran Jayasundera, M.D., and David N. Zacks, M.D., Ph.D.,  for patients with degenerative and blinding eye diseases.

The procedure was used for patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa, retinal degenerative disease which causes progressive loss of vision due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells.

Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System is a special implant available at 12 clinics around the US to this date. The patient wears special glasses with a camera that captures images and converts them in electrical impulses, which are transmitted into the prosthesis and the surface of the retina. The retina is then stimulated and signals are sent to the brain to interpret received patterns of light. This way patients regain some visual functions.

Photo courtesy of jscreationzs/ freedigitalphotos.net