Woman Gets Bionic Eye

After living in darkness for years... Dianne Ashworth 'sees' for the first time.

At this stage the images are just flashes of light, in varied shapes.
But it's a successful trial of an early prototype of the world's first 'bionic eye'.

"When the first sort of bigger image came there I just went 'wow', you know, because I just didn't expect it at all."

Diane underwent surgery in may when an electronic implant was attached to her retina.

Using signals from a computer, scientists can then stimulate electrodes in the implant through a wire, fixed between the eye and behind the ear.

So if we stimulated an electrode in a certain way she would see the same shape.

And she would report on a reliable basis the visual percept that she saw each time and it was just magic.

It's given researchers confidence they will achieve full vision.
Confidence Dianne's children can now share too.

"He used to say 'will you ever be able to see me mum?'

He said "when, by about 30?" and i said "yeah when you're about 30" and he's now 28 so who knows.

Scientists hope to create a complete bionic eye by the end of next year.


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