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Tiny telescope implant combats blindness


December 2, 2003

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Wednesday December 3, 2003 A micro-sized telescopic eye implant is being developed to aid those affected by dysfunction of the macula - a specialized area of the retina that is responsible for the central part of our vision. IMT (Implantable Miniature Telescope) has a tiny wide-angle lens (about the size of a pea) that projects a magnified image onto the retina to reduce the blind spot caused by macular degeneration and improve the ability to see previously unrecognisable images.

Invented by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz, the IMT which is currently undergoing clinical investigation in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere, with approximately 300 people so far having been implanted with the device.

The IMT is implanted behind the iris in one eye during a brief outpatient surgical procedure. The other eye is left without an implant so that peripheral vision is retained for safe mobility and navigation and patients are how to use the implant. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the retinal disorder which the device is designed to combat - effects central vision and other visual activities like reading, recognizing faces, and watching television.

According to Visioncare IMT, AMD affects over 15 million Americans to some degree with varying degrees of central vision loss from mild to severe.

In Australia, researchers at the University of Newcastle are also looking at ways that new technology can be applied to restore sight to the blind. This system uses a tiny electronic circuit to deliver controlled, electronic stimulation to the surviving nerve cells of the retina in patients suffering from degenerative blindness - a process which it is hoped will replace some of the physiological events that take place on a normal, healthy retina.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
1 Comment

What a great innovation. The researches around the globe are finding different techniques to restore sight in blind people. I am glad that researches have human approach to a great cause rather than carrying out rouine research problems.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
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