philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Scientists create a cyborg eye that mimics the real thing

d41586-020-01420-7_17986572Scientists have been working on artificial eyes for years, but mimicking the shape and behavior of a real eye has been difficult. A breakthrough might just lead to a practical design, though. Researchers have created (via New Scientist) a cyborg eye whose function and structures share many things in common with its human counterpart. A nanowire photosensor array formed inside a hemispherical aluminum oxide membrane serves as the retina, while wires formed from a liquid metal (eutectic gallium-indium alloy) replicate nerves by sending signals from those sensors to external processing. It even mimics the vitreous humor (the gel between the lens and retina) with an ionic liquid.

With enough refinement, this could lead to implants that restore eyesight while preserving the natural look. The scientists also believe they could one day power the eye with sunlight — you might not need a separate power source, at least until it gets dark.

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