Technological innovations continue to emerge, particularly in the medical field. A researcher has just developed a bionic ocular prosthesis, capable of rendering sight to the blind.
Will human beings be made of flesh and blood again in the centuries to come? The question may seem absurd, but in the face of advances in science and medicine, it is worth asking. There are already many electric prostheses, human organs recreated in laboratories, internal machines that support the proper functioning of the human body. Today, science is taking a step further in medical progress with a bionic eye.
Developed by Michael McAlpine, a professor at the University of Minnesota, this ocular prosthesis turns out to be quite complex, as does the meaning it tries to recreate: the view. With its hemispherical glass dome, this eye is composed of photodiodes printed with a 3D printer. Semiconductors, these components can detect radiation as do human eyes and turn them into electrical signals.
One of the big difficulties of the project was precisely the impression of these photodiodes on a curved surface, the glass dome. It does not facilitate the process since the glass is a difficult material to handle in this case. It was necessary to develop a conducting ink, based on silver, so that it does not flow while drying on the dome.
If it does not directly allow to see, the bionic eye stimulates the optic nerve of a blind individual and will eventually allow him to see. This is only a prototype, but it is still an important step forward. Indeed, McAlpine has demonstrated the ability to convert light into an electrical signal of his invention.
The researcher claimed that his prototype allowed a 25% conversion of light into electricity. A relatively low percentage for real conditions, but it's still a good start and brings hope for the blind.
The researcher is not at his first test shot in the field of bionic organs. In 2013 already, the man had developed an artificial ear, mixing biological tissue and electronic components.


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