Argus II technology helps restore sight in blind patient

A USC Eye Institute patient with a genetic condition that causes vision loss was the first person in the world to receive retinal implants in both eyes, as announced November 2015 by USC. The two-stage procedure took place with an operation for each eye, in June 2004 and June 2015.

Thanks to the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis system, a medical innovation developed at USC, some sight has been restored for patient Terry Byland, who has retinitis pigmentosa. The technology is the first FDA-approved implanted device to re-establish sight in blind patients, and allows previously blind patients the ability to perceive images and movement.

The system includes a small video camera mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, a video processing unit that transforms images from the camera into wirelessly-transmitted electronic signals, and an implanted retinal prosthesis (artificial retina) to stimulate visual neurons.

The innovation was manufactured by the company Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. and is the result of a close collaboration by Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Eye Institute and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation completed a patent license agreement for the technology with Second Sight to assist with commercializing the technology outside of the university.

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–by USC Stevens, published February 26, 2016