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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.
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.
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
originally posted by: KrakatoaThe 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.