The DOE Artificial Retina Project is a multi-institutional collaborative effort to develop and implant a device containing an array of microelectrodes into the eyes of people blinded by retinal disease. The ultimate goal is to design a device with hundreds to more than a thousand microelectrodes. This resolution will help restore limited vision that enables reading, unaided mobility, and facial recognition.
The device is intended to bypass the damaged eye structure of those with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. These diseases destroy the light-sensing cells (photoreceptors, or rods and cones) in the retina, a multilayered membrane located at the back of the eye.