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was, as chips have increased in complexity into the hundreds of millions of transistors. The first integrated circuits held only a few devices, perhaps as many as ten diodes, transistors, resistors and capacitors, making it possible to fabricate one or more logic gates on a single device. Now known retrospectively as "small-scale integration" (SSI), improvements in technique led to devices with hundreds of logic gates, known as large-scale integration (LSI), i.e. systems with at least a thousand logic gates. Current technology has moved far past this mark and today's microprocessors have many millions of gates and hundreds of millions of individual transistor

Imagine by placing VLSI circuits in the eye of a person with a defective eye, we can increase the efficiency and improve the sight of that. Appropriately saying to create sight to the blind using VLSI designs Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating integrated circuits by combining thousands of transistor-based circuits into a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The microprocessor is a VLSI device. The term is no longer as common as it once

stimulator on the retina, optic nerve, or in the visual cortex, in order to produce perceptions in the visual cortex.



For those who are blind because of

The word Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. The word 'bionic' was coined by Jack E. Steele in1958, possibly originating from the Greek word "", pronounced "bion", meaning "unit of life" and the suffix -ic, meaning "like" or "in the manner of", hence "like life". Some dictionaries, however, explain the word as being formed from "biology" + "electronics".

1. Retinitis Pigmentosa 2. Macular Degeneration. The following figures show normal eye and the eye affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa and Macular Degeneration. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a hereditary Genetic Disease which is the degeneration of Peripheral Rods. The disease gradually progresses towards center of eye, and results in tunnel vision. Fig.3.1 Normal eye


A visual prosthetic or bionic eye is a form of neural prosthesis intended to partially restore lost vision or amplify existing vision. It usually takes the form of an externally-worn camera that is attached to a

Fig.3.2 Defective eye (Retinitis Pigmentosa)

Macular Degeneration is also a genetically related disease in which cones in Macula region degenerate, resulting in loss or damage of central vision and this disease is very common among old people. Fig.3.3 Normal eye

In the world, 1.5 million people suffer from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the leading cause of inherited blindness. In the Western world, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the major cause of vision loss in people over age 65, and the issue is becoming more critical as the population ages. Each year, 7, 00,000 people are diagnosed with AMD, with 10 percent becoming legally blind, defined by 20/400 vision. Many AMD patients retain some degree of peripheral vision. Currently, there is no effective treatment for most patients with AMD and RP but with the bionic eye; some of the eyesight of the blind can be brought back.

Fig.3.4 Defective eye (Macular Degeneration)


The chip is the size of half a rice grain-3 millimeters and allows users to perceive 10 degrees of visual field at a time. It's a flat rectangle of plastic (eventually a silicon version is has been developed) with one corner snipped off to create asymmetry so surgeons can orient it properly during implantation. One design includes an orchard of pillars: One side of each pillar is a light-sensing pixel and the other side is a cellstimulating electrode. Pillar density dictates image resolution, or visual acuity. The strip of orchard across the top third of the chip is densely planted. The strip in the middle is moderately dense, and the strip at the bottom is sparser still. Dense electrodes lead to better image resolution but may inhibit the desirable migration of retinal cells into voids near electrodes, so the different electrode densities of a current chip design allow the researchers to explore parameters and come up with a chip that performs optimally. Another design-pore electrodes-

involves an array of cavities with stimulating electrodes located inside each of them. The chip will be placed right on the retina replacing the defective rods and cones (Photoreceptors)

Figure 4: Designs of Bionic Eyes


milliwatt But there are a few problems with the chip "MADE OF SILICON". Silicon is toxic to the human body and reacts unfavourably with fluids in the eye. Furthermore, all of the nutrients feeding the eye flow from the back to the front. If a large, impervious structure [like the silicon detectors] in the eye is implanted, nutrients can't flow and the blockage of nutrients flow to the eye happens and the eye will atrophy.

Let's take an example with viewing a flower. "First, light from the flower enters the video camera. (Keep in mind that camera technology is already pretty good at adjusting contrast and other types of image enhancement.) The video camera then sends the image of the flower to the walletsized computer for complex processing. The processor then wirelessly sends its image of the flower to an infrared LED-LCD screen mounted on the goggles. The transparent goggles reflect an infrared image into the eye and onto the retinal chip. Just as a person with normal vision cannot see the infrared signal coming out of a TV remote control, this infrared flower image is also invisible to normal photoreceptors. But for those sporting retinal implants, the infrared flower electrically stimulates the implant's array of photodiodes. The result ? They may not have to settle for merely smelling the roses." There are a lot more advantages: 1.Very Early in the visual pathway 2.No Batteries implanted within body 3.No complicated surgical procedure 4.Power Requirement - of


Figure 6: A schematic diagram of the retina -- a light-sensitive layer that covers 65% of the interior surface of the eye These ceramic micro-detectors are invented by The Space Vacuum

Epitaxy Center(SVEC) is a NASA- sponsored Commercial Space Center (CSC) at the University of Houston. SVEC's ceramic detectors do not share the same problems with the silicon detectors in toxicity to the human body and unfavourable reactions with fluids in the eye. Tests on the ceramic detectors for biocompatibility, and they are totally stable. In other words, the detector does not deteriorate and neither does the eye. These detectors are thin films, grown atom-byatom and layer-by-layer on a background substrate -- a technique called epitaxy."Well-ordered, 'epitaxally-grown' films have [the best] optical properties", said Dr. Alex Ignatiev, a professor at the University of Houston.

cones they are designed to replace. The natural layout of the detectors solves another problem that plagued earlier silicon research: blockage of nutrient flow to the eye as the ceramic detector Figure 7: These firstgeneration ceramic thin film micro detectors, each about 30 microns in size, are attached to a polymer carrier, which image shows human cones 5-10 microns in size in a hexagonal arrays helps surgeons handle them. The background are individual, five-micron
.-size units (the exact size of cones) that allow nutrients to flow around them.

8.SO HOW ARE THEY IMPLANTED INTO THE EYES? As the detector is so small to handle, the arrays are attached to a polymer film one millimeter by one millimeter in size. A couple of weeks after insertion into an eyeball, the polymer film will simply dissolve leaving only the array behind. Clever isn't it? The new bionic eyes will surely be promising to the blind. Hope that more and more blind people will be able to see the light again soon!!!!!

7.DO BIONIC EYE HAVE ANY OTHER SPECIALITIES? The arrays are stacked in a hexagonal structure mimicking the arrangement of rods and

Fig. 8.1: How the Bionic eye implant works?

Fig.8.2: Core view of Bionic eye

Fig.8.3:Bionic eye implanted!

9.CONSTRUCTIONAL VIEW OF BIONIC EYE: Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have given "blind" nerve cells the ability to detect light, paving the way for an innovative therapy that could restore sight to those who have lost it through disease. A team lead by neurobiologist Richard H. Kramer, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology, and Dirk Trauner, assistant professor of chemistry, inserted a light-activated switch into brain cells normally insensitive to light, enabling the researchers to turn the cells on with green light and turn them off with ultraviolet light.

to open when hit with ultraviolet light and close when hit with green light. The opening and closing is achieved with a molecule that kinks and unkinks in response to different wavelengths of light. This photoswitch can be used to selectively silence nerve cells or to give the gift of "sight" to normally sightless organisms or cells. This trick could potentially help those who have lost the light-sensitive rods and cones in their eyes because of nerve damage or diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. In these cases, the photoreceptor cells are dead, but other nerve cells downstream of the photoreceptors are still alive. In particular, retinal ganglion cells, which are the third cell in the path from photoreceptor to brain, could take over some of the functions of the photoreceptors if they could be genetically engineered to respond to light. How well electrodes would work depends on the density of the electrode array and how well you can marry the electrodes with the neural elements underneath.This approach is not a mere chip on the retina -- it may allow to cover the entire retina with light sensitive cells. If each nerve responds individually, one could do a very fine scan of the retinal field and create

Fig.9.1: Potassium channels normally open in response to a voltage difference between the inside and outside of a nerve cell, letting potassium ions (K+) flow out to equalize the voltage and turn the cell off. This channel has been broken, then re-engineered

much, much better spatial resolution. Current, admittedly early attempts at restoring sight with electrodes in the retinal ganglion cells, whose axons bundle together to form the optic nerve entering the brain, allow the patient to see little more than patches of light and dark, Kramer noted. Trauner, Kramer and their team designed a way to re-engineer the potassium channel to respond to light rather than voltage. To create this manmade channel and insert it into living cells, they took a two-step approach. First, they mutated the gene for the ion channel -- using as their starting material the potassium channel found in fruit flies -- so that, when expressed in a cell, the channel is broken and always stays open. They also added an extra molecule -the amino acid cysteine -- to the channel protein so that, once the protein gets in place in the cell membrane, this molecule dangles off the outer surface of the cell like a fish hook. They then inserted the mutated potassium channel gene into cells from the hippocampus of a rat -cells that are found inside the brain and never see the light of day. To achieve this in their cell culture experiment, they flooded the culture with the mutated gene inside a circular piece of DNA called a plasmid, which cells readily take up. They checked to see how

many of the hippocampus cells took up the gene by also washing the cells with a plasmid containing a gene for green fluorescent protein, which glows green when hit with UV light. Cells taking up one plasmid usually take up other plasmids, and nearly all the cells glowed green. The second step was to wash the cells with a chemically synthesized switch that gloms onto the cysteine hook. The photoswitch -- an azobenzene compound -was built like a drain plug on a rigid tether, so that when the end of the tether binds to cysteine, the plug fits snugly into the potassium channel. The chemical was also designed to be sensitive to light -- when hit with longwavelength ultraviolet light (390 nanometer wavelength), the tether kinks and shortens, pulling the plug and letting potassium out of the cell. Green light (500 nanometer wavelength), on the other hand, makes the chemical tether straight again, replugging the channel pore. They refer to the altered channel as a synthetic photoisomerizable azobenzene-regulated K (SPARK) channel, where K is the chemical signal for potassium. 10.IS THE BIONIC EYE THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION FOR BLIND PEOPLE?

Fig.10.1:Professor Minas Coroneos holds a model of the human eye The type of vision we think will happen initially wont be anything like yours or my eyesight. Its not going to be normal vision. The current Cochlear devices have about 30 electrodes. Imagine having 30 electrodes on the outer wall of the eye, which in theory means that if you turn them on at the same time, you will get 30 flashes of light. The idea is that you will have a series of flashes outlining objects. 11.BIONIC EYE AND ITS AVAILABILITY: The bionic eye will be available in the next five years. Now that might sound like a long time but given that the scientists have been working on this for only five years, and are half way through this cycle. Just to make it very plain - and they have been very careful with any publicity because they dont want people to think that they are about to have a product- what they have achieved is an important step forward.They took a slightly different approach. Normally, most of the groups that are working on the retina have put electrodes on it. The retina is like a film in a camera. It has a layer of cells that detect light and turn light into electrical signals. Those

signals go to nerves that join up and form the optic nerve. Because the retina is very delicate and also because you have to open the eye, that approach involves some risk. Just imagine what might happen to someone with pieces of metal attached to their retina if they jump on a trampoline. The approach they took was to put electrodes on the outer wall of the eye and increase the current, so it still stimulates the retina. Because of this, they do not have to open the eye. They think that might be a more stable and safer system long term. So earlier this year, They put some electrodes on the outer wall of the eye of a patient, we stimulated those electrodes and the patient was able to see flashes of light. 12.ONGOING PROJECTS:

Designed by Claude Veraart at the University of Louvain, this is a spiral cuff electrode around the optic nerve at the back of the eye. It is connected to a stimulator implanted in a small depression in the skull. The stimulator receives signals from an externallyworn camera, which are translated into electrical signals that stimulate the optic nerve directly.


Although not truly an active prosthesis, an Implantable Miniature Telescope is one type of visual implant that has met with some success in the treatment of end-stage agerelated macular degeneration. This type of device is implanted in the eye's posterior chamber and works by increasing (by about three times) the size of the image projected onto the retina in order to overcome a centrally-located scotoma or blind spot.

half of the animals tested. The thresholds identified in this study were similar to those required in epiretinal stimulation.

The brothers Alan Chow and Vincent Chow have developed a microchip containing 3500 solar cells, which detect light and convert it into electrical impulses, which stimulate healthy retinal ganglion cells. The ASR requires no externally-worn devices.

The chip is located behind the retina and utilizes microphotodiode arrays (MPDA) which collect incident light and transform it into electrical current stimulating the retinal ganglion cells. As natural photoreceptors are far more efficient than photodiodes, visible light is not powerful enough to stimulate the MPDA. Therefore, an external power supply is used to enhance the stimulation current. The German team commenced in vivo experiments in 2000, when evoked cortical potentials were measured from micropigs and rabbits. At 14 months post implantation, the implant and retina surrounding it were examined and there were no noticeable changes to anatomical integrity. The implants were successful in producing evoked cortical potentials in

Daniel Palanker and his group at Stanford University have developed an optoelectronic system for visual prosthesis that includes a subretinal photodiode array and an infrared image projection system mounted on video goggles. Information from the video camera is processed in a pocket PC and displayed on pulsed near-infrared (IR, 850-900 nm) video goggles. IR image is projected onto the retina via natural eye optics, and activates photodiodes in the subretinal implant that convert light into pulsed biphasic electric current in each pixel. Current can be

further increased by approximately an order of magnitude using a common bias voltage provided by a radiofrequency-driven implantable power supply .Close proximity between electrodes and neural cells necessary for high resolution stimulation can be achieved utilizing effect of retinal migration.

Laser-based system for projecting an image directly onto the retina. This could be useful for enhancing normal vision or bypassing an occlusion such as a cataract, or a damaged cornea. 13.APPLICATIONS OF BIONIC EYE:

Fig. 13.2 EYECLOPS BIONIC EYE a handled contraption that supposedly magnifies whatever it sees on a order of 200x and displays it on whatever TV it is plugged into.
Fig.13.3: Feather Magnified

Giant eyeball magnifies 200x:

Fig.13.1: Eyeclops Bionic eye

Fig.13.4: Table Salt Magnified

The Bionic Eye comes with a viewing tube, viewing dish and the base for hands-free use, while you must provide it the 5 AA batteries.

For its capability to show table salt looking like blocks of ice, fine hair looking like twisted rope or your skin looking like an alien one, the device has won many awards such as Parents Choice Best Toy Award, Parents Magazine Best Toy Award, Childrens Technology Review, Editors Choice Award, Toy Insider Hot 20 Toys, and ToysRUs Fabulous 15 Toys. To use the Bionic Eye, it is enough to plug it into the TV and turn it on. Youll need no additional software to run or special system requirements to meet, and you can observe the details of any object or animal from your dog to your carpet and the Liquid in your glass.

View virtually any item at 200 times the regular size on any TV screen

The wireless EYECLOPS BIONICAM has doubled the top magnification to 400x and has its own built-in color LCD instead of requiring a computer screen for viewing .It also comes with a USB flash drive presumably to record and transfer whatever images are projected on it,according to device. 14.RESEARCH: 14.1.

Plugs directly into your TV; No software to install

Includes observation dish and tube to view liquids, salt, bugs, etc and base for hands-free use.

3 built-in LED lights illuminate any object. BONUS - EXTRA VIEWING STAND


Any scientific advance would have broad implications. According to statistics from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., 1.1 million people in the United States are legally blind, while worldwide 42 million people are without sight. The Dobelle Institute is among several institutions trying in essence to create a new cornea through technology. The cornea allows light into the interior of the eye.

Dobelle is using a digital video camera mounted on glasses to capture an image and send it to a small computer on the patient's belt: The images are processed and sent to electrodes implanted in the patient's visual cortex. The electrodes stimulate the brain, producing a pattern of bright spots that form an image.

possible, but it's not cheap: The operation, equipment and necessary training cost $70,000 per patient.
14.2. NASA:

A Canadian farmer and father of eight, Jens lost his sight 18 years ago in an accident. Now he's able to navigate through rooms, find doors and even drive a car to some degree. "I was able to very carefully drive and look from my left side to my right side, making sure I was between this row of trees on the right and the building on my left," he says. "When I got near any obstruction, I would see that there was an obstruction. I would also see the lack of obstructions, knowing I wasn't going to run over anybody .It was a very nice feeling." The black and white image Jens sees is not solid, but resembles a dot matrix pattern. It's like looking at a sport scoreboard with different light patterns illuminated to show different scores.
14.1.2 COST:

NASA hopes to begin human testing this year on ceramic detectors that could be implanted in the retina to take over the job of damaged retinal cells. And the Office of Naval Research goes one step further -- it says it is on the way to developing a chip that would replicate the entire nerve center of the retina.

Optobionics Corporation of Wheaton, Illinois, says six blind or nearly blind people can now see light and some can see shapes after having the company's artificial retina implanted. Optobionics hopes to have the artificial retina on the market in five years, but critics say it will take years of independent testing to prove it helps the blind.

The miniaturization of equipment and more powerful computers have made this artificial vision

Three people who had lost most of their vision from retinitis pigmentosa - a condition that causes degeneration of the retina, received similar type chips. The chips are 2 mm in diameter, about the width of the head of a pin, and a thousandth of an inch thick -

thinner than a sheet of paper. Each chip contains approximately 3500 microscopic solar cells designed to stimulate remaining retinal cells from underneath the retina in a pattern resembling the light images focused on the chip. The chips are completely self-contained and receive their power entirely from the light that enters the eye requiring no wires or batteries. Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision:

Fig.14.1:Contact lens for superhuman vision The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights. There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle's

speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see. The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red lightemitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up to 20 minutes and the animals showed no adverse effects. Ideally, installing or removing the bionic eye would be as easy as popping a contact lens in or out, and once installed the wearer would barely know the gadget was there, Parviz said. Building the lenses was a challenge because materials that are safe for use in the body, such as the flexible organic materials used in contact lenses, are delicate. Manufacturing electrical circuits, however, involves inorganic materials, scorching temperatures and toxic chemicals. Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across. They then sprinkled the

grayish powder of electrical components onto a sheet of flexible plastic. The shape of each tiny component dictates which piece it can attach to, a microfabrication technique known as self-assembly. Capillary forces the same type of forces that make water move up a plant's roots, and that cause the edge of a glass of water to curve upward pull the pieces into position.

Keratoconic eyes are rare but disabling. From the side, the eyes look more pointed or cone-shaped than round. The apex shift from visual axis in the cornea causes people with the condition to see halos and double and triple images. About 1 in 2,000 people suffer from the disease, usually in both The condition shows up in a relatively small population, but it causes huge optical problems, says Geunyoung Yoon, assistant professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering, the Center for Visual Science, and the Institute of Optics. These people have problems so severe, they cant tolerate glasses. They cant take laser vision correction because they have a very thin cornea around the apex, so its not an option. The only available treatment is to wear hard contact lenses or corneal transplant with a donored cornea if the disease is severe. And with the corneal transplant, there is a rejection rate.

All three subjects reported their vision significantly improved with the custom-designed soft contact lenses. The scientists tested several designs of custom lenses on the subjects eyes for both high-contrast and low-contrast visual acuity. They compared vision with the custom-designed soft lenses to vision with conventional lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses, or hard contact lenses. Corrections with the custom lenses resulted in an average improvement of 2.1 lines in visual acuity, or from 20/48 to 20/29, over the use of the conventional defocus and astigmatism corrections alone. Conventional soft contact lenses do not work for keratoconic eyes, as they merely conform to the conical cornea shape. The custom-designed lenses, on the other hand, have irregular front surface profiles designed to correct for specific aberrations of the cornea and crystalline lens. The scientists designed the front profiles by measuring with wavefront sensors exactly how light enters the subjects eyes through the misshapen cornea. In collaboration with Bausch & Lomb, an oscillating tool lathe sculpted the front surface of the lens. Keeping the lenses exactly in place is still a challenge, as blinking notoriously shifts contacts. The scientists used existing stabilizing techniques, such as making the lenses bottom-

heavy, to coax them into correct orientation. With all the new research developments coming into view, one can catch a glimpse of the future of blindness.

1968 Giles S. Brindley of the University of Cambridge implants 80 electrodes under the scalp of a 52-year-old woman who had gone blind. When he applies electricity, the woman sees spots of light. 2004 Arman Tanguay and his colleague Noelle Stiles conduct the first experiment to implant a digital camera in an eye, replacing a dog's natural lens with a glass lens and a sensor. 2010 USC Researchers conduct the first human trial of a implantable digital camera connected to a 256-electrode retinal implant. 2014 The introduction of a 1,000electrode implant allows blind volunteers to recognize faces and read half-inch type for the first time.

16.DEMERITS: Dr. Bill Dobelle, of the Dobelle Institute, says the technology has broad potential. "It may not work for people blinded as children or as infants, because the visual cortex did not develop normally.

15. The Road to Artifical Vision

1929 German neurologist Otfird Foerster electrically stimulates the visual cortex of a human volunteer's brain causing his subject to see small points of light.

17.REFERENCES: 1. www.way2students. com