Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Bionic eye hope blends lasers and gold

Photo credit to Paul Jones
Photo credit to Paul Jones

Abstract:
A novel approach to restoring sight using a ‘bionic eye' is being investigated at Swinburne University of Technology.

The laser stimulation of optic nerves is the focus of this research to develop a vision prosthesis - perhaps a tiny laser device fitted in a pair of spectacles - much like the cochlear implant for restoring hearing.

Bionic eye hope blends lasers and gold

Hawthorn, Australia | Posted on July 12th, 2011

Swinburne's Applied Optics and Biomedical Engineering Groups are seeking government and philanthropic funding to progress this research using gold nanoparticles to amplify laser light.

These microscopic nanoparticles, fixed to optical nerves and assembled to respond to different laser light wavelength, could become the key to restoring vision to people who have lost their sight through degenerative eye disease.

The researchers are looking for a non-contact method of stimulating nerves and are exploring the use of laser light, rather than the direct electrical stimulation techniques that have become the conventional approach.

Using a very low intensity laser source they are trying to generate the right amount of heat required to elicit a response from nerve cells without damaging them.

According to researcher PhD student Chiara Paviolo, the new concept explores the potential for light to deliver far more precise nerve cell stimulation than electrodes.

"Electrodes need an electrical current and so they consequently stimulate a group of nerves," Paviolo said.

"Light, however, allows us to target individual nerves and this should mean more accurate communication of optical signals - an essential outcome if the information delivered to the brain via a prosthesis is to mean anything useful in terms of shapes, colours, dimensions. You don't just want optical ‘noise'."

The initial goal is to successfully bond the nanoparticles to the nerve and then achieve a response to light heat.

Gold nanoparticles are being used because gold is inert, biocompatible and has plasmonic or light-responsive properties. The gold nanoparticles can also be fabricated to respond to different wavelengths, making the interface controllable.

"One of the challenges is to develop nanoparticles that are thermally stable," said Professor of Biointerface Engineering Sally McArthur . "While on one hand heat is necessary, it also has to be limited to avoid damaging cells. Laser heat has long been used in medicine to deliberately kill tissue, but in this instance the opposite result is sought."

To measure and control the heat, the Swinburne team is building a molecular thermal sensor to measure how much heat is produced, so they can then work out how to control it.

The team's ultimate ambition for its technology is a prosthesis that in the first instance will restore vision to people who have lost their sight through retinitis pigmentosis or macular degeneration.

"With these diseases the nerve is still alive, making it a strong candidate for a prosthesis," Paviolo said.

Paviolo said international interest is already building in the Swinburne project because the concept of using light stimulation combined with nanotechnology is novel.

You can help this research progress. To donate to Swinburne's bionic eye research call +61 3 9214 8705 or email

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lea Kivivali

Department: Media and Communications Unit
Phone: +61 3 9214 5428
Mobile Phone: 0410 569 311

Copyright © Swinburne University of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

CiQUS researchers design an artificial nose to detect DNA differentiation with single nucleotide resolution September 18th, 2014

Big Results Require Big Ambitions: Three young UCSB faculty receive CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Nanomedicine

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer September 17th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Nanoscience makes your wine better September 17th, 2014

Discoveries

CiQUS researchers design an artificial nose to detect DNA differentiation with single nucleotide resolution September 18th, 2014

Big Results Require Big Ambitions: Three young UCSB faculty receive CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation September 18th, 2014

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

Announcements

Wear-resistant ceramic powder maximises component lifespan in high-stress applications: Innovnano’s nanostructured 3YSZ offers improved tribological performance for manufacturing components September 18th, 2014

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display: Rice lab creates RGB color display technology with aluminum nanorods September 15th, 2014

Fonon at Cutting-Edge of 3D Military Printing: Live-Combat Scenarios Could See a Decisive Advantage with 3D Printing September 15th, 2014

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE