Artificial vision devices or visual prostheses are designed to electrically stimulate neurons along the visual pathways in order to bypass dysfunctional distal stations in order to create vision perception in blind patients. Retinal and optic nerve prostheses are named according to the anatomic location of implantation: cortical prostheses, retinal prostheses, and optic nerve prostheses. Other devices include hybrid retinal implants and sensory substitution devices. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. Given that intact neurons along the visual pathways can be found in almost all blind patients, only our current lack of experience and capabilities in physiology, biocompatibility and device-tissue interfacing prevents us from stimulating them in a safe and effective manner. We can only hope that the day such devices are widely used is in the near future and not decades away.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2001|
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