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US regulators approve bionic eye to treat rare genetic disease

Published on Feb 15, 2013 9:54 AM
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US regulators approved a so-called bionic eye on Thursday, giving hope to people with a rare genetic disease.

Developed by California-based Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is the first retinal implant for adults with advanced retinitis pigmentosa that results in the gradual loss of vision and can lead to blindness.

"While the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System will not restore vision to patients, it may allow them to detect light and dark in the environment, aiding them in identifying the location or movement of objects or people," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement announcing its decision.

The device includes a small video camera and a transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses, as well as a video processing unit and an implanted retinal prosthesis that replaces the function of degenerated cells in the retina.

 
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