Bionic Vision Australia (BVA), a government-funded science consortium, said it had surgically installed an “early prototype” robotic eye in a woman with hereditary sight loss caused by degenerative retinitis pigmentosa. Described as a “pre-bionic eye”, the tiny device is attached to Dianne Ashworth’s retina and contains 24 electrodes which send electrical impulses to stimulate her eye’s nerve cells.
Researchers switched on the device in their laboratory last month after Ashworth had fully recovered from surgery and she said it was an incredible experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but all of a sudden, I could see a little flash—it was amazing,” she said in a statement. ”Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye.
Penny Allen, the surgeon who implanted the device, described it as a “world first”. Edited from Australians implant ‘world first’ bionic eye.