David B. Grayden: “The Bionic Vision Australia Retinal Implant Research Program”
CiNet 1F Conference Room
Deputy Head (Academic)
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Melbourne School of Engineering
The University of Melbourne
Host : Shinji Nishimoto (PI)
The bionic eye has now reached the stage of clinical trials and human application. The Bionic Vision Australia retinal implant research program aims to deliver artificial vision for patients with degenerative vision loss caused by photoreceptor degeneration. The implant is designed to translate light input into electrical stimulation of surviving neurons in the retina. Two implants have been developed: the Wide-View device and the High-Acuity device. These are differentiated by the number of electrodes that is possible on each device and where the devices are placed in the eye. The High-Acuity device is currently undergoing pre-clinical testing. A prototype of the Wide-View device was implanted in the suprachoroidal space of three patients at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne. The trial demonstrated that the suprachoroidal electrode placement is surgically feasible and mechanically stable, and psychophysical studies showed that all three subjects were able to perceive phosphenes of varying intensity and dynamic range within safe charge limits. The results provide strong support for the viability of the suprachoroidal electrode placement for retinal prostheses.