Thursday, May 17, 2012
The research team at Stanford University warn that the surgery to implant the photovoltaic diode is complex and can cause unpleasant side effects such as inflammation. Also the eye is being fed images from a camera through goggles so the eye doesn't move in a normal way. Patients can use their eyes to scan the scene around them but only within the visual field of the goggles.
Even with the complications this method presents, it is simpler than the older method of patients having to be connected to a wire in order to get their implants charged up. Upgrading to a tiny photovoltaic array has at least to a degree simplified and improved the process.
Researchers predict the implants will be available to the public in one to two years after passing through the regulatory process.
More interesting details about solar eye implants at Nature.com.