Royal Society Logo Thanks to the advancement in technology that blind people may now be able to see. A team of experts based in Germany has developed a retinal implant that possibly allows blind people to see shapes and objects within days of the implant being installed. The introduced technique was probably successful in three people without vision among whom one could distinguish and find objects placed on a table. The person was also capable of walking around a room independently and approaching people, reading a clock face and differentiating seven shades of grey.

The device seems to be capable of treating patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Prof. Dr. Eberhart Zrenner founding Director of Retinal Implant AG and Director and Chairman of the University of Tuebingen Eye Hospital and colleagues claim that the device known as a subretinal implant is pivotal in restoring visual functions of patients with hereditary retinal dystrophy. Placed underneath the retina, this device may directly replace light receptors lost in retinal degeneration.

Other types of retinal implants called as epiretinal implants probably sit outside the retina and bypass the intact light-sensitive structures in the eyes. While employing this device the user has to wear an external camera and processor unit. The subretinal implant supposedly gains unprecedented clarity because as it has more light receptors, as compared to other similar devices.

The research was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.