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Researchers 3D print prototype for 'bionic eye'

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posted on Sep, 5 2018 @ 10:43 PM
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A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have, for the first time, fully 3D printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery marks a significant step toward creating a "bionic eye" that could someday help blind people see or sighted people see better.

Source: Researchers 3D print prototype for 'bionic eye'

This is a significant breakthrough not only medically, but also technologically. The ability to print semiconductor circuitry on a curved surface has unlimited applications. However, more specifically to this story, the "bionic eye" development at the moment is just a proof-of-concept device that has an efficiency of only 25%. Even at that low resolution, it bodes well that they now can focus upon increasing the resolution by printing more light receptors at ever more finer resolution.

The research is published today in Advanced Materials, a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering materials science. The author also holds the patent for 3D-printed semiconducting devices.

"Bionic eyes are usually thought of as science fiction, but now we are closer than ever using a multimaterial 3D printer," said Michael McAlpine, a co-author of the study and University of Minnesota Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Researchers started with a hemispherical glass dome to show how they could overcome the challenge of printing electronics on a curved surface. Using their custom-built 3D printer, they started with a base ink of silver particles. The dispensed ink stayed in place and dried uniformly instead of running down the curved surface. The researchers then used semiconducting polymer materials to print photodiodes, which convert light into electricity. The entire process takes about an hour.


Any ATS members in the field have an opinion or more details on this discovery?




posted on Sep, 5 2018 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

Fantastic.

Things are coming along nicely in these fields...looking foward to some demonstrations.




posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 12:56 AM
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It is possible to place a USB camera inside an artificial eye, as demonstrated by Eyeborg guy. But that still requires external processing to emulate the layers of the retina used to do color contrast detection, edge detection and texture analysis. Each eye is like a 500 megapixel camera that compresses down to 10 Mbits.

Being able to create a curved photoreceptor array will allow a more natural set of photoreceptor inputs with more detail at the centre to emulate the fovea and less detail at the perpheral vision areas.




posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 02:43 AM
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a reply to: stormcell
The video you posted actually answered a question I have had for many years. How can they directly connect the eye to the brain and get useful information for the brain to process ? Evidently that is still beyond our current science.

Still a great piece of technology



posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 03:01 AM
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originally posted by: 727Sky
a reply to: stormcell
The video you posted actually answered a question I have had for many years. How can they directly connect the eye to the brain and get useful information for the brain to process ? Evidently that is still beyond our current science.

Still a great piece of technology



Actually, they can. Sort of. You need a chip implanted in your brain, which is sent signals from a camera via an external processor to strip out unnecessary information. The chip only has a resolution of about 500px as of 2015, but it does allow basic shape and light/dark detection.

Bionic Eye

Even more interesting, is that it was being done over 18 years ago, too. But who wants to lug around a 5KG 486 around with them, connected to a miniature television camera and am ultrasound sensor just to put a hat on a mannequin.


The blind can see

I think it is only a matter of time and Moore's law, before we actually have ports on the back of our heads to plug devices in. People will be lining up for days to plug in the new iPhone 84.



posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 04:05 AM
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originally posted by: KrakatoaThe ability to print semiconductor circuitry on a curved surface has unlimited applications.


Not so sure that's a good thing.


However, more specifically to this story, the "bionic eye" development at the moment is just a proof-of-concept device that has an efficiency of only 25%. Even at that low resolution, it bodes well that they now can focus upon increasing the resolution by printing more light receptors at ever more finer resolution.


When I was 25, camcorders had autofocus that usually didn't focus. I'm 45 and autofocus cameras still don't focus. Which sucks because they usually don't put manual focus on cameras because that's old fashioned (but works).



posted on Sep, 6 2018 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

Suppose its a step towards human augmentation but the technology is already there that would allow us to simply clone a replacement eye(or any other organ for that matter) without the possible implications of rejection nor the problems that surround interfacing with our mind.

Never become mainstream all the same whilst religious nutters and pro-lifers babble on about bullcrap.



posted on Sep, 12 2018 @ 06:14 AM
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eagerly waiting for this......
how it will work ? how body adopt this?
www.youtube.com...
edit on 12-9-2018 by Karthikaqpt because: (no reason given)



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