Electronic restoration of vision in those with photoreceptor degenerations

Emily O'Brien, Ursula Greferath, Kirstan Vessey, Andrew Jobling, Erica Fletcher

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Complete loss of vision is one of the most feared sequelae of retinal disease. Currently, there are few if any treatment options available to patients that may slow or prevent blindness in diseases caused by photoreceptor loss, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Electronic restoration of vision has emerged over recent years as a safe and viable option for those who have lost substantial numbers of photoreceptors and who are severely vision impaired. Indeed, there has been a dramatic increase in our understanding of what is required to restore vision using an electronic retinal prosthesis. Recent reports show that for some patients, restoration of vision to the point of reading large letters is possible. In this review, we examine the types of implants currently under investigation and the results these devices have achieved clinically. We then consider a range of engineering and biological factors that may need to be considered to improve the visual performance of newer-generation devices. With added research, it is hoped that the level of vision achieved with newer generation devices will steadily improve, resulting in enhanced quality of life for those with severe vision impairment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-483
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


    • Photoreceptor
    • Retinal implant
    • Retinal remodelling
    • Retinitis pigmentosa


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