A Technion Hologram Vision Technique May Restore Sight to the BlindMar. 3, 2013
Holograms may soon be used to help people with damaged eyes see again.
Biomedical researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel are testing the ability of a new holographic technique to artificially stimulate retinal cells in the eye - a process that may lead to bionic vision restoration.
Blindness is often caused by conditions like retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease in which degrading light-sensing cells in the retina cause blindness.
One in 4,000 people in the United States are affected by retinitis pigmentosa, and research on restoring vision can potentially help tens of thousands of Americans see again.
The scientists hope that computer-generated holograms can be used along with optogenetics, a rapidly growing field of research that uses gene therapy to deliver light-sensitive proteins to damaged cells in the retina.
“The basic idea of optogenetics is to take a light-sensitive protein from another organism, typically from algae or bacteria, and insert it into a target cell, and that photosensitizes the cell,” explained Dr. Shy Shoham, who led the study.
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