DOE Artificial Retina Project announces success of ArgusTM II Retinal Implant
The DOE Artificial Retina Project is a partnership of DOE National Laboratories, several universities, and Second Sight, LLC. Using key technologies and materials developed by DOE laboratories, this team developed the Argus II, a 60 microelectrode array device that can restore the sight of blind patients when it is attached to their retina. An initial (Phase I) clinical study demonstrated the safety of the implant in 21 blind patients in five countries and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has now approved the device for a much larger, Phase II study of the effectiveness of the device. Members of the research consortium have announced this success at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Patients in the Phase I study were able to successfully identify the position and approximate size of objects and detect movement of nearby objects and people. The Argus II is an essential step toward a 200+ microelectrode device that will allow blind patients to successfully function and navigate in their normal environment.