BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


DOE Artificial Retina Project Reaches First Major Milestone
Published: August 16, 2004
Posted: August 26, 2004

As part of an FDA Investigational Device Exemption trial, the goal of implanting 6 blind patients with a 16 electrode Model 1 artificial retina device was achieved in June 2004. The first patient has had the retinal implant since February 2002. All patients can successfully use the retinal implant which consists of a miniature video camera attached to a pair of glasses and a pocket size visual processing unit. The visual processing unit digitizes and processes the image and then wirelessly sends both power and data to the surgically implanted retinal implant which in turn then sends small controlled electrical pulses to the otherwise blind retina allowing the blind patients to see. Even though testing is still on going, results have shown that as few as 16 microelectrodes (each microelectrode producing a pixel of light) allows patients to be able to read large letters (2 foot large letters one foot away) as well as differentiate between a paper cup from a plate from a plastic knife. Patients also see colors although at present the control over color perception is not fully understood and reproducible. Future studies in these patients include using the retinal implant outside the laboratory setting as well as allowing patients to use the device alone at home. The Artificial Retina Project has already developed a next generation Model 2 (60 electrode) device that has the potential for increasing the number of pixels of light by 4 times. The design and fabrication of the Model 2 device is currently undergoing preclinical testing in dogs and if results are successful, will be scheduled to be used in a clinical trial in 2005. The basic science research is supported by BER Medical Sciences Division and the National Institutes of Health supports the clinical studies.

Contact: Dean Cole, SC-73, (301) 903-3268
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Human Subjects Research
  • Legacy: Medical Applications

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-73 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)