An exciting new study is taking the possibility of a retina implant a step closer to reality. Researchers at USC and Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. are starting the first phase of a clinical study of the Argus II Retinal Prosthetic System. The retina is located at the back of the eye and receives light that is translated into images by the brain. Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited eye disease that affects the retina and causes blindness. The Argus II Retinal Prosthetic System is hoped to be a treatment for blindness associated with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
The Argus II Retinal Prosthetic System uses numerous electrodes that are attached to the retina. An external camera sends the electrodes information, which creates a very basic form of sight. The device is approved for study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the researchers state that so far, the device is performing as it should. It may sound like science fiction now, but in the near future the Argus II Retinal Prosthetic System has the potential of being a helpful treatment for blindness.