Scientists and physicians from the Scientific and Clinical Center of Otorhinolaryngology of FMBA conducted an operation of inserting cybernetics implant into the eye of a blind patient for the first time in Russian history, which will allow him to see the world in a month.
For the operation surgeons used one of the most promising systems of cybernetic vision - "bionic eye" Argus II. It was created by Second Sight in the middle of the last decade and was first introduced to the public in 2009, when a British volunteer partially restored sight due to its installation. The 73-year-old patient of the London Eye Center, Murfields, lost his sight 30 years ago. Thanks to the operation, he began to see daylight, distinguish light and dark spots and can even see a number of base colors.
The “eye” consists of 3 parts: cyberset of sixty electrodes, special sunglasses with integrated cameras and a special pocket computer that converts signals into a brain-friendly format. The camera captures the picture, and the processor converts the received information into a series of electrical pulses. Then the built-in radio transmitter sends these pulses to the receiver attached near the eye. From there the signal goes over the ultrathin cable to the implant implanted in the retina. The impulse received by a retina gets to the brain; allowing to see white and black lines and distinguish between large letters and words.
Russian doctors conducted an operation to implant such cybernet, connecting it to the nervous system of a 59-year-old patient from Chelyabinsk who completely lost sight due to a progressive disease. The operation was conducted with the participation of specialists from Second Sight, including a surgeon from Manchester University who participated in the first installation of Argus II in the United States. It lasted 4.5 hours and required eight specialists - two surgeons, ophthalmologists, an anesthesiologist, two nurses, reserve surgeons and one engineer.
As the scientists note, the vision to the patient will not return right after the completion of the operation - for the next few weeks the doctors will follow the restoration of the eye and how the retina will be accustomed. If all these processes are successful, then specialists will try to "include" the "cyber-eye" of the patient in about two to three weeks.
The successful completion of the operation, in the opinion of its sponsors and doctors themselves, will help restore sight to about 50,000 Russians who lost it as a result of the destruction of the retina, and will open the way for the localization of production of Argus II and other similar implants, which will help reduce prices for them.