OpticSELINE Could Restore Sight to the Blind

OpticSELINE Could Restore Sight to the Blind
The OpticSELINE technology stimulates the optic nerve with intraneural electrodes, and could one day be used to restore sight to the blind.

The device, developed by researchers from Switzerland and Italy, was created with the goal of producing phosphenes: the sensation of seeing light in the form of light patterns without seeing the light directly. While previous efforts involved rigid electrode cuffs that tended to become unstable, the new OpticSELINE device features an array of 12 intraneural electrodes able to offer selective and informative stimulation to the optic nerve.

Although quite promising, the system will require further testing and exploration. According to EPFL’s Medtronic Chair in Neuroengineering, Diego Ghezzi, “For now, we know that intraneural stimulation has the potential to provide informative visual patterns. It will take feedback from patients in future clinical trials in order to fine-tune those patterns.”

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