The new implant for the blind ensures rudimentary vision, sending signals directly to the brain


A blind woman was successfully granted a brain implant, thanks to which she could see the outlines of the surrounding objects, since the device transmits visual signals directly into the brain.

The 57-year-old Bernardete Gomez blinded 16 years ago from the toxic neuropathy of the optic nerve, destroyed the beams of the nerves of the coupling eyes with the brain. Therefore, she decided on an operation on the introduction of an implant in the brain, which connects with modified glasses with an integrated chamber. The entire system is connected to a computer that processes video in real time, turning it into electronic signals.

Through a special port, the signal enters the implant with a hundred electrodes, through which the information is transmitted to the visual bark of the back of the brain. Since the electrodes are located near the neurons, then to transmit signals a fairly weak electric current, which reduces the risk of convulsion.

The device was installed for 6 months, since the gradually the immune system will begin to destroy the electrodes and surrounds their scar cloth, and the researchers do not yet know how much time it takes. Despite the fact that animal research has shown that the implant can safely function in the body from 2 to 10 years, the team does not want to risk women’s health. In addition, the possibility of bending when driving is not excluded.

In the current form, the device provides only rudimentary vision with a resolution of 10×10, but this is enough to the contours of the doors, sidewalk or large letters. In the future, researchers plan to upgrade its design and increase the detail to 60×60 pixels or higher. However, it is not yet known how much information from such a device will be able to perceive the brain without overload.

Previously, we also reported the development of contact lenses.

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