Elias Konstantopoulos gets spotty glimpses of the world each day for about four hours, or for however long he leaves his Argus II retina prosthesis turned on. The 74-year-old Maryland resident lost his sight from a progressive retinal disease over 30 years ago, but is able to perceive some things when he turns on the bionic vision system.
Members of the FDA’s Medical Devices Advisory Committee will vote Friday on whether to recommend approval of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis device. Members of the ophthalmic panel also will discuss and recommend possible post-approval study requirements should the device ultimately gain FDA clearance.
The Argus II is designed for use by patients with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa, who experience progressive vision loss, often leading to blindness.
I will then review some of the current research performed around the world – including recent developments in brain-machine interface that will ultimately allow patients to control prosthetic limbs and wheel chairs; developments in functional electrical stimulation for gait and standing in paraplegia; and research to develop a prosthetic balance system.