Researchers at the University of Minnesota have made an experimental bionic eye prototype which can help blinds to see. Not only this, but it can also give a superhuman vision to the people like us. They published their study in the journal Advanced Materials on Thursday. Well, we may have a super powered-eye in future, now how cool is that?
So basically, the researchers made this experimental bionic eye prototype with the help of a custom-built 3D printer. The whole process took approximately an hour. In result, they got a bionic eye which can transform light into electricity. It has almost 25 percent efficiency. Although it is less efficient than an original human eye. Interestingly, our eyes can detect even a single photon, but for now, the artificial eye cannot.
The process of making the Experimental Bionic Eye:
The process takes place in two complex steps:
- The researchers take a hemispherical glass dome and print a base of silver particles inside it.
- Then they print photo-diodes using semiconducting polymer materials. These convert light into electricity on top of the silver base.
However, a glass dome cannot be fit in a person’s eye socket. Therefore researchers are finding ways to replace this element with something else plus they need to add more light receptors for efficiency. This research shows that 3D printed semiconductors are efficient in the same way as produced by micro-fabrication facilities and high-tech labs. It also shows to print semiconductors on a curved surface.
Co-author of the study, Michael McAlpine got the idea to make a bionic eye because her mother is blind. So this will give a huge benefit to the people who have some defect in their eyes and can’t see. Bionic eyes can also empower the eyesight of normal human beings. Still, it is challenging for the researchers that how will the brain interpret these signals. They are working on this concept and will soon release the updates.