Miniature Telescope Implanted In Eye

A miniature telescope ocular implant has been developed to help people afflicted with macular degeneration. The disease affects the center of the retina, an area of the eye that is important for reading and recognizing faces.


(Miniature telescope for macular degeneration)

The implant.. consists of two lenses within a small glass tube. Once inside the eye, it works like a fixed telephoto lens, acting in conjunction with the cornea to project a magnified image of whatever the wearer is looking at over a large part of the retina. Because only the central parts of the retina are damaged in the disease, magnifying the image on the eye allows the retinal cells outside the macula to detect the object and send that information to the brain. (These cells are normally involved in peripheral vision and normally generate low-resolution visual information compared to the macula cells--you can't read a sign in your periphery, for example. But magnifying the image also has the advantage of making it easier for the cells to interpret.)

Part by part, we seem to edge closer to the eye-shaped camera that replaces Col. Austin's eye in The Six Million Dollar Man TV series.


(Bionic Eye from Six Million Dollar Man)

As I recall, Steve Austin's fictional electronic eye was able to magnify the image.

From Technology Review.

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