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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | 03:32:27 AM

Restoring sight to the blind

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Published On: Jun 25, 2013

Professor Dov Weinberger, who is behind the invention said: that the chip actually imitates the way the retina functions.

This tiny chip is the Israeli invention that may give hope to millions of  people  with sight impairment around the world who lost their sight due to diseases which led to retinal degeneration.

The innovative chip is surgically implanted into the eye where it takes over the job of the faulty retina, transferring data from the eye to the brain.  Dr Weinberger said that many  blind people are interested in the being first to test the breakthrough device. The Israeli company developing the chip is called Nano-retina. They are expected to begin clinical trials soon.

And this is what the world will look like for those who receive the chip.: blurry, and black and white, but sight nonetheless.

Dr Wineberger says those who lost their sight have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by participating in the trials. Nano Retina has an American competitor whose product is already on the market, and has performed several implants.  But the Israelis are not worried about competition.  Raanan Gefen, Nano Retina’s CEO said the American implant offers rudimentary sight at roughly 50 pixels, while the Israeli version is much sharper, ten times sharper to be exact.

On the left is what the person with the American implant would see, and on the right, is what the person with the Israeli implant will see.  The cost of regaining one’s sight, by the way, is between 50 and 100 thousand dollars, but who can put a price tag on seeing the world once again.

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