Bionic eye goes live in world first by Australian researchers


A blind woman can now see spots of light after being implanted with an early prototype bionic eye, confirming the potential of the world-first technology.

Australian researchers have been working for years to develop the bionic eye, in which electrodes are inserted into the retina of vision-impaired patients.

Dianne Ashworth, 54, was the first patient fitted with the device in surgery at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in May.

It was switched on last month at the Bionics Institute in East Melbourne after her eye had recovered fully from surgery, as researchers held their collective breath in the next room while watching via video link.

Ms Ashworth said: “All of a sudden I could see a little flash … it was amazing.

“Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye.”

Written By: Kate Hagan
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  1. Curious that this article doesn’t lead to any comments. It’s not very spectacular news, granted, but certainly interesting. 

    I’m no expert on blindness,s but it seems to me this ‘bionic eye’ will be able to remedy blindness caused by a whole range of causes, as long as the nerves are intact. Is that correct?

  2. It looks to me like it would work as long as the cause of blindness is at the eye level (involving the receptors) and the nerves and the visual centers in the brain aren’t damaged.

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