Bionic eye invented that mimics the functions of the present and is charged by light
Researchers have created a spherical visual sensor that mimics the structure of the human eye and can use sunlight as an energy source.
The development of a team of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology consists of a focusing lens and an analogue of the retina, which is a hemispherical membrane made of porous alumina with many embedded nanowires.
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These wires are light sensitive and made of perovskite, which is commonly used in solar panels. They perform the same function as the nerve cells of the human eye, transmitting electrical signals when light enters them.
The diameter of the device is 2 cm and it even has an analog of the vitreous body, the role of which is played by the ionic liquid between the lens and the membrane. Indium is additionally used to improve electrical contact, and silicone polymer is used to align the nests of the wire matrix.
In addition to the fact that the structure of the sensor is close to the structure of the living eye, its sensitivity even surpasses the human organ of vision, since it is almost the same for the entire spectrum of visible light. Nanowires are denser than cellular photoreceptors, and their response time is shorter.
However, the current sample of the bionic eye cannot yet serve as an effective organ replacement, since with a width of the photosensitive zone of 2 cm, the resolution is only 100 pixels, which is significantly lower than the level required to obtain a distinguishable image.
The diagonal viewing angle is also worse (100 degrees instead of 150) and the sensor still needs an external power source, but the developers are already upgrading the device so that the nanowires function like small solar cells. This should make it fully autonomous.
Nevertheless, even despite the significant shortcomings and high cost of manufacturing such a bionic eye, it significantly surpasses other existing prostheses and, if properly developed, can lead to the creation of a full-fledged implant for restoration of vision.
In addition to artificial eyes, researchers are improving contact lenses. Earlier, we reported on the creation of working prototypes of contact lenses with integrated augmented reality technology.
, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, stillnessinthestorm