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BIONIC EYE (Electronically powered eye)

Presented by:
Salma Khanam.H.M - VI SEMESTER
Asfia Samreen – VI SEMESTER
Department of Instrumentation Technology,
KBN College of Engineering, Gulbarga

ABSTRACT go inside your eye and couple your eye movement

to where the camera is,” said Dr Humayun.
Researches working for the Boston
Retinal Implant Project have been developing a
Bionic eye implant that could restore the eye sight
of people who suffer from age related blindness. 2. THE HUMAN EYE
The implant is based on a small chip that is
surgically implanted behind the retina, at the back
of the eye ball. An ultra-thin wire strengthens the
damaged optic nerve; its purpose is to transmit
light and images to the brain’s vision system,
where it is normally processed. Other than the
implanted chip and wire, most of the device sits
outside the eye. The users would need to wear
special eye glasses battery-powered camera and a We are able to see because light from an object can
transmitter, which would send images to the chip move through space and reach our eyes. Once light
implanted behind the retina. The new device is reaches our eyes, signals are sent to our brain, and
expected to be quite durable, since the chip is our brain deciphers the information in order to
enclosed in a Titanium casing, making it both detect the appearance, location and movement of
water-proof and corrosion-proof. The researches the objects we are sighting at.
estimate that the device will last for at least
10years inside the eye. The whole process, as complex as it is, would not
be possible if it were not for the presence of light.
Without light, there would be no sight.
The human eye is the organ which gives us the
The purpose of the report is to provide an accurate sense of sight, allowing us to learn more about the
and detailed description of the Bionic surrounding world than any of the other five senses.
eye(Optoelectronic Retinal Prosthesis System)
and its function. The new technology tested by
Mrs.Moorfoot uses an external camera worn on a
pair of dark glasses that sends images to a radio
receiver implanted near the eye that transmits the
signal on to a tiny silicon and platinum chip that
sits on the retina. This information then goes
down the optic nerve into the brain. The team lead
by Dr. Mark Humayun, professor of
ophthalmology and Biomedical engineering at the
Doheny eye institute in Los Angeles, California The eyeball is set in a protective cone-shaped cavity
have now developed a small and powerful camera in the skull called the orbit or socket and measures
that could be implanted inside the patient’s eye, approximately one inch in diameter. The orbit is
rather than worn on a pair of glasses. “The camera surrounded by layers of soft, fatty tissue which
is very, very small and very low power, so it can protect the eye and enable it to turn easily. The
important part of an eye that is responsible for Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) usually
vision is retina. affects people over the age of 50 and there are two
distinct types - "wet" AMD and "dry" AMD. "Wet"
The retina lies at the back of the eye and it acts like AMD results from the growth of new blood vessels
the film in a camera, receiving and processing in the choroid, causing an accumulation of fluid in
everything you see. the macula which leads to retinal damage. This type
of degeneration can often be successfully arrested
In humans there are two types of light sensitive by laser surgery.
cells in the retina:
• Rod Cells "Dry" AMD represents at least 80% of all AMD
• Cone Cells cases and results in atrophy of the Retina. Usually
yellowish-white round spots called drusen first
appear in a scattered pattern deep in the macula.
2.1 What are Rod cells and Cone cells? Later degeneration of both the Pigment Epithelium
and the cones begins. While AMD is not inherited
Rod cells pick up movement out of the corner of the in a predictable way, heredity may be involved to
eye and also, in a normal eye it is the rods that some extent.
operate in poor light or at night. There are about
120 million rods in each eye and they are more
numerous towards the outer edge of the retina 3. BIONIC EYE
The cone cells are used in colour vision and in close
precision work like reading. There are not as many
cones and they are more concentrated in the centre
of the retina (the Macula).

2.2 Disease of eye

• Retinitis pigmentosa
• Macular degeneration

2.2.1 Retinitis pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a
group of hereditary diseases of the retina of the eye.
RP may be caused by a breakdown in the function
of the rods or the cones in some part of the retina.
The retina is so complex that breakdowns may
A group of American scientists have given a
occur in a variety of ways and so RP is not a single
visually impaired grandmother a chance to see her
disorder but a great number of disorders. The
grandchildren dance and play football with a
breakdown of cone function may be called Macular
“Bionic eye”.
Linda Moorfoot, who suffers from the eye condition
2.2.2 Macular Degeneration
Retinitis Pigmentosa that causes blindness,is
Macular is a sensitive area in the centre of the retina
thrilled after having part of her sight restored by a
which provides us with sight in the centre of our
Bionic eye.
field of vision. It allows us to see the fine details
when we look directly at something. In macular
degeneration, a layer beneath the retina, called the 3.1 Artificial Silicon Retina (ASR)
retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), gradually wears
out from its lifelong duties of disposing of retinal The ASR is a silicon chip 2 mm in diameter and
waste products. 1/1000 inch in thickness. It contains approximately
3,500 microscopic solar cells called
A large proportion of macular degeneration cases "microphotodiodes," each having its own
are age- related. stimulating electrode. These microphotodiodes are
designed to convert the light energy from images
into thousands of tiny electrical impulses to

stimulate the remaining functional cells of the retina
in patients suffering with AMD and RP types of

ASR implant in eye

3.2 How Artificial Vision Will Work?

Creating artificial sight:
The current path that scientists are taking to
create artificial vision received a jolt in 1988, when
Dr. Mark Humayun demonstrated that a blind
person could be made to see light by stimulating the
nerve ganglia behind the retina with an electrical
current. This test proved that the nerves behind the
retina still functioned even when the retina had
degenerated. Based on this information, scientists
set out to create a device that could translate images
and electrical pulses that could restore vision.

Magnified image of ASR

The ASR is powered solely by incident light and

does not require the use of external wires or
batteries. When surgically implanted under the
retina, in a location known as the sub retinal space,
the ASR is designed to produce visual signals

similar to those produced by the photoreceptor The dot above the date on this penny is the full size
layer. From their sub retinal location these artificial of the ASR
"photoelectric" signals from the ASR are in a
position to induce biological visual signals in the Today, such a device is very close to becoming
remaining functional retinal cells available to the millions of people who have lost
which may be processed and sent via the optic their vision to retinal disease.
nerve to the brain.
As you can see in the picture at the top of this page,
the ASR is an extremely tiny device, smaller than
the surface of a pencil eraser. It has a diameter of
just 2 mm (.078 inch) and is thinner than a human
hair. There is good reason for its microscopic size.
In order for an artificial retina to work it has to be
small enough so that doctors can transplant it in the
eye without damaging the other structures within
the eye.

mounted in close proximity to the cornea, a power
3.3 Bionic eye implants and signal transceiver and processing chip, a
stimulation-current driver, and a proposed electrode
A bionic eye implant that could help restore the array fabricated on a material such as silicone
sight of millions of blind people could be available rubber [3,14], thin silicon[9], or polyimide[25] with
to patients within two years. ribbon cables connecting the devices. The
biocompatibility of polyimide [10,11] is being
studied, and its thin, lightweight consistency
suggests its possible use as a non-intrusive material
for an electrode array. Titanium tacks[12] or
cyanoacrylate glue[13] may be used to hold the
electrode array in place.

3.4 New Bionic Eye Could Restore Sight

Researchers working for the Boston Retinal Implant

Project have been developing a bionic eye implant
that could restore the eye sight of people who suffer
from age-related blindness. The implant is based on
a small chip that is surgically implanted behind the
retina, at the back of the eyeball. An ultra-thin wire
Figure 2A: The MARC System
strengthens the damaged optic nerve; its purpose is
to transmit light and images to the brain's vision
system, where it is normally processed. Other than
the implanted chip and wire, most of the device sits 3.6 Overall System Functionality
outside the eye. The users would need to wear
special eye glasses containing a tiny battery- The MARC system, pictured in Figures 1-4 will
powered camera and a transmitter, which would operate in the following manner. An external
send images to the chip implanted behind the retina. camera will acquire an image, whereupon it will be
The new device is expected to be quite durable, encoded into data stream which will be transmitted
since the chip is enclosed in a titanium casing, via RF telemetry to an intraocular transceiver. A
making it both water-proof and corrosion- proof. data signal will be transmitted by modulating the
The researchers estimate that the device will last for amplitude of a higher frequency carrier signal. The
at least 10 years inside the eye. signal will be rectified and filtered, and the MARC
will be capable of extracting power, data, and a
clock signal. The subsequently derived image will
then be stimulated upon the patient’s retina.
3.5 The MARC System
As shown in Figures 1-5, the MARC system would
consist of two parts which separately reside exterior
In our case, the intermediary device is the MARC and interior to the eyeball. Each part is equipped
system pictured in Figures 2A and 2B. The with both a transmitter and a
schematic of the components of the MARC to be
implanted consists of a secondary receiving coil
who has co-directed the project with MIT's John
Wyatt since 1988.

3.8 Disadvantages
The scientists explain that the bionic eye will be
affective for individuals who once had sight, since
their brain knows how to process visual
information. The unfortunate people who were born
blind do not have the neurological capability to
process the data received via the wire. Furthermore,
the optic nerve must be at least partly functional.
Otherwise, the data will not be fully processed. For
many individuals that were born blind, this is a
receiver. The primary coil can be driven with a 0.5- problem as well, since their optic nerve has never
10 MHz carrier signal, accompanied by a 10 kHz been used. This new technology will not be helpfull
amplitude modulated (AM/ASK) signal which for glaucoma patients.
provides data for setting the configuration of the
stimulating electrodes. A DC power supply is
obtained by the rectification of the incoming RF 4. CONCLUSION
signal. The receiver on the secondary side extracts
four bits of data for each pixel from the incoming Its been 40 years since Arne Larsson received the
RF signal and provides filtering, demodulation, and first fully implanted cardiac pacemaker at the
amplification. The extracted data is interpreted by Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.Researchers
the electrode signal driver which finally generates throughout the world have looked for ways to
appropriate currents for the stimulating electrodes improve people's lives with artificial, bionic
in terms of magnitude, pulse width, and frequency. devices.Bionic devices are being developed to do
more than replace defective parts. Researchers are
also using them to fight illnesses.Providing power
3.7 Advantages to run bionic implants and making connections to
the brain's control system pose the two great
Although the device will not be able to restore the challenges for biomedical engineering.We are now
eye sight of the entire blind community, researchers looking at devices like bionic arms, tongues, noses
are certain many people will benefit from the etc.
technology. For instance, age-related macular
generation is the leading cause of blindness in the YES, this is Bionic eye:
industrialized world, with about 2 million
Americans currently suffering from the condition.
The new technology will hopefully assist people
suffering from this condition, and individuals
suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic
condition), but will not help glaucoma patients.
The researchers note the device has some
limitations, and it will not restore perfect vision.
However, they are sure it will give people the
advantage of having a general sense of their
surroundings. Hopefully, the technology may
enable people to recognize faces and facial
expressions. "The thing is to significantly improve
the quality of life for blind patients," said Joseph
Rizzo of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary,


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