Man Receives “Bionic Eye”

A Michigan man is among the first in the U.S. to receive a so-called “bionic eye.”

The device's electrode array as it's positioned on the retina. (Kellogg Eye Center photo)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 23, 2014) Some patients who have lost their sight because of a rare disorder are regaining some vision through a procedure performed at the University of Michigan, whose Kellogg Eye Center is the first such facility in the U.S. to implant an artificial retina since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed off on it last year.

Four such surgeries have been performed at Michigan and a fifth is scheduled for next month.

Patients get a "bionic eye" system, which includes a small video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses.

Images from the camera are processed into electronic data that are wirelessly transmitted to electrodes implanted into the patient's retina.

The surgery gives those with retinitis pigmentosa the ability to see shadows and shapes.

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