For many people, the prospect of losing their vision is both scary and likely, for numerous medical reasons. Many researchers have thus been working to find ways to prevent the sensory loss or to return sight to those that have lost it. Some at Monash University are part of the latter as they have created a bionic eye for the benefit of those patients.
The flexibility of the human brain is one of its most amazing properties, with its ability to remap itself and incorporate new sources of information. This is what the researchers are tapping into as their bionic eye design uses a brain implant to feed the signals from a digital camera directly to the visual cortex. As it uses an implant instead of eye surgery, this bionic eye should not disrupt the patient's remaining vision, as eye surgery may.
The design is meant to help patients of all ages who suffer from a variety of illnesses, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. However, more research is still required to determine its effectiveness at restoring sight, which will likely vary between people with different medical histories.
Source: Monash University