USC technology to restore sight in blind patients

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis system is the first FDA-approved implanted electronic device to re-establish some functional vision in blind patients.

The innovation was co-invented and co-developed by USC inventor Dr. Mark Humayun with the company Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., which manufactured the innovation. It is the result of a close collaboration led by Dr. Humayun of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Roski Eye Institute and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation completed an exclusive patent license agreement for USC’s contributions to the technology with Second Sight to assist with commercializing the technology outside of the university.

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 system affords previously blind patients the ability to perceive images and movement.

Mark S. Humayun, MD, Ph.D., is University Professor of Ophthalmology, the Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences, Director of the Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics, Co-Director of the USC Roski Eye Institute, and Director of Sensory Science Initiatives.