Researchers Reveal A Bionic Eye Which Is Better Than A Real One

Researchers Reveal A Bionic Eye Which Is Better Than A Real One

Scientists from Hong Kong University said that they have created a proof-of-concept bionic eye that could have sensitivity more than the human eye.

The new bionic eye concept which was published in the prestigious journal Nature is basically a three-dimensional artificial retina that contains a highly dense array of extremely light-sensitive nanowires.

In the future, we can use this for better vision prostheses and humanoid robotics,said researcher Zhiyong Fan from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The research team, led by Fan, lined a curved aluminum oxide membrane with tiny sensors made of perovskite, a light-sensitive material that’s been used in solar cells. Wires that are very similar to the brain’s visual cortex carry the visual information captured by these sensors to a computer for processing.

These nanowires could surpass the optical wavelength range of the human eye, allowing it to respond to 800-nanometer wavelengths, the threshold between visual light and infrared radiation. This means that it could see things even in dark.

A human user of the artificial eye will gain night vision capability,said Fan.

It is claimed that this eye can react to changes in light faster than our eye, allowing it to adjust to changing conditions in a fraction of the time.

Each square centimeter of this retina can hold about 460 million nanosize sensors which is far more than the estimated 10 million cells in the human retina. This clearly suggests that it could surpass the visual fidelity of the human eye.

A lot of people who were not involved in the research said that this needs a lot more work to integrate it into human visual system.

“I think in about 10 years, we should see some very tangible practical applications of these bionic eyes,” Hongrui Jiang, an electrical engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who was not involved in the research, told Scientific American.

A biomimetic eye with a hemispherical perovskite nanowire array retina (Nature Journal) DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2285-x

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