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Pixium bionic retinal implant a success

Paris-based bionic vision systems company Pixium Vision has successfully conducted the first human implantation and activation of its miniaturised bionic retinal implant for atrophic age-related macular degeneration (atrophic AMD).

According to Pixium, the new generation wireless photovoltaic sub-retinal implant, called the PRIMA Bionic Vision System, improved visual perception in a patient with severe vision loss from atrophic AMD.

“This first successful PRIMA implantation results from its rigorous development and its testing phases. The smooth recovery of the patient was enabled also by the elegance of the surgical technique. Successful activation was achieved one-month post implantation as per the protocol,” principal investigator and retinal surgeon Dr Yannick Le Mer said.

"PRIMA is equipped with 378 electrodes and acts like a tiny solar panel"

“Following activation, the patient reported the first perception of light from the central zone where there was none previously. The patient now proceeds to the important re-education phase to learn to interpret the elicited light signals and evaluate the performance of the PRIMA system.”

Implanted under the retina via a less invasive surgical procedure, PRIMA is equipped with 378 electrodes and acts like a tiny solar panel.

It’s powered by pulsed, near infrared light through a miniaturised projector integrated in a pair of accompanying glasses along with a mini-camera, worn by the implanted subject.

The study will continue to monitor the safety and performance of PRIMA in up to five subjects, with initial evaluation occurring six months post surgery, continuing for up to three years.

PRIMA inventor Professor Daniel Palanker from the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford University said following the success of the procedure, the next step would be to continue to improve image resolution and the quality of visual perception.


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