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Bionic eye gives blind man sight

March 06, 2009
"My one ambition at the moment is to be able to go out on a nice, clear evening and be able to pick up the moon"
- Ron

A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a bionic eye.

He says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks, using the bionic eye, known as Argus II.

It uses a camera and video processor mounted on sunglasses to send captured images wirelessly to a tiny receiver on the outside of the eye.

In turn, the receiver passes on the data via a tiny cable to an array of electrodes which sit on the retina - the layer of specialised cells that normally respond to light found at the back of the eye.
When these electrodes are stimulated they send messages along the optic nerve to the brain, which is able to perceive patterns of light and dark spots corresponding to which electrodes have been stimulated.

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