Blind people will be able to recover their vision partially, with the initiation of marketing of an electrical chip by the end of 2011 that has been created by a German Company.
The device is an outcome of fifteen years of research. In the beginning, it would be available for nearly 11,000 people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa across the developed world. The condition adversely affects retina by devastating the light sensitive cells in it. The implant can also prove beneficial to macular deterioration, a condition that erupts with increasing age and leads to loss of vision.
“I am planning to seek authorization for a CE mark during 2011 that will allow the chip to be approved across the EU as a medical device”, said Walter Wrobel, Chief Executive of Retina Implant.
The findings of the research appeared in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society this week. The electric chip trail showed it improved vision of three patients and they would be able to locate bright objects on the table, one could even identify alphabets and track the movement of people.
The chip was connected with a cable wire that run through the skin to ear and was attached to an external battery. As there is a risk of infection in this process, so the Company has commenced its second trial involving 45 patients to implant chip permanently.
As per the Company, the treatment could cost €60,000-€80,000. The competitors are also trying to imitate the product, but are at initial stages of their research.
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