Microelectronic Visual Prostheses

  • David D. ZhouEmail author
  • Robert J. Greenberg
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Research efforts worldwide are developing microelectronic visual prostheses aimed at restoring vision for the blind. Various visual prostheses using neural stimulation techniques targeting different locations along the visual pathway are being pursued. Retinal prostheses have proved to be capable of offering blind subjects in advanced stages of outer retinal diseases the opportunity to regain some visual function. With relatively low-density retinal implants, simple visual tasks that are impossible with the blind subject’s natural light perception vision can be accomplished. Blind subjects can spatially resolve individual electrodes within the array of the implanted retinal prosthesis and can use the system to discriminate and identify oriented patterns. This chapter reviews progress in the development of visual prostheses including visual cortex and optic nerve stimulation devices and retina stimulation devices such as epiretinal, subretinal, and extraocular implants. Second Sight Argus 16 and Argus II 60-electrode Retinal Implants are described. Some engineering challenges for the development of visual prostheses, especially retinal prostheses, are discussed.


Retinitis Pigmentosa Electrode Array Lateral Geniculate Nucleus Microelectrode Array Blind Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Institute of Health – National Eye Institute (NEI), under NIH Grant EY012893 and by the Artificial Retina Project of Department of Energy (DOE Lab 01-14 Project). Authors are grateful to Chase Byers for his help in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Sylmar Biomedical Park, SylmarUSA
  2. 2.Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Sylmar Biomedical ParkSylmarUSA

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