Researchers in Switzerland have developed an intraneural electrode able to bypass the eyeball and send messages directly to the brain through the optic nerve, a technology that could provide visual aid for blind people and a new means of studying vision.
The study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering said, ‘Retinal prostheses can restore a functional form of vision in patients affected by dystrophies of the outer retinal layer. Beyond clinical utility, prostheses for the stimulation of the optic nerve, the visual thalamus or the visual cortex could also serve as tools for studying the visual system.”
Scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne wrote, “Optic-nerve stimulation is particularly promising because it directly activates nerve fibres, takes advantage of the high-level information processing occurring downstream in the visual pathway, does not require optical transparency and could be effective in cases of eye trauma.”
Research showed, “The intraneural electrode array should enable further investigations of the effects of electrical stimulation in the visual system and could be further developed as a visual prosthesis for blind patients.”