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Student Vanessa Restrepo-Schild, who led the research, explained: "The synthetic material can generate electrical signals, prostate cancer support groups uk stimulate the neurons at the back of our eye just like the original retina.
It is possible could be using it on patients in ten years Vanessa Restrepo-Schild - Student "Because it is not made out of cells - or metal - the immune system does not recognise it as a foreign object and so does not attack it.
Her team plan to use the prototype on human tissue in the lab, before trying it on animals and then - if all goes well - humans. Retinitis pigmentosa and AMD age related macular degeneration are incurable and the most common causes of blindness in old age.
They involve the gradual and irreversible destruction of retinal cells. The device consists of water droplets called hydrogels and biological cell proteins, and is designed like a camera.
The cells act as pixels, detecting and reacting to light to create an image on the 'grey scale'. Colombian born Miss Restrepo-Child, 24, said this means people using it would be able to see features rather than just silouhettes - as in black and white vision.
The retina is the name given to a diverse group of cells that line the inside of the back of eye. Rays of light enter the eye and are focused onto the retina which produces a picture that is then is urologielehrbuch prostatakarzinom along the optic nerve for the brain to interpret.
Unlike existing artificial retinal implants the cell-cultures are created from natural, biodegradable materials and do not contain foreign bodies or living entities.
In this way the implant is less invasive than a mechanical devise and is less likely to have an adverse reaction on the body.
Miss Restrepo-Schild said: "The human eye is incredibly sensitive which is why foreign bodies like metal retinal implants can be so damaging. Related articles.