Colorado’s First Successful Bionic Eye Transplant helped Woman Regain her Lost Vision
Till now, bionic eye transplant was just like a dream for many scientists, but has now been successful for the first time ever at CU vision center. On December 10, a Colorado woman received Colorado's first bionic eye transplant at the Eye and Vision Care Center of the University of Colorado. With the success of the transplant, the woman has been able to regain her lost vision. Ms. Jamie Carley was suffering with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the degenerative disease that rendered her virtually blind. Carley explained that she never had night vision her whole life and that her day vision progressively worsened over the years.
During the five-hour surgery which took place in November, surgeons implanted a microchip into the retina of one of Ms. Carley's eyes. Though, Ms. Carley cannot see clearly, she is having good vision to see outlines and shadows. Surgeons believe she will be able to improve her vision by using her brain to interpret the new optical signals as she progresses through a long period of rehabilitation. According to sources, when Ms. Carley wears specially designed glasses with an attached camera, the video images transmit to the microchip stimulating the optic nerve, which in turn sends visual information to brain. The UC Health officials reported that Jamie’s brain will learn how to interpret the new optical signals it is receiving and her new sight will steadily improve.
Despite of having significant implications, there are some limitations associated with the device. The first one is the high cost which the device alone costs $150,000, but eye specialists expects the price of the device to become cheap and gets widely applicable over the course of time. Another drawback is that the bionic transplant can only be done on patients with RP, but scientists hope people suffering with other visual diseases like macular degeneration may be helped by bionic eye in the future.
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