Biotech's future: Restoring vision to millions of people
LambdaVision, Inc. a small business funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research program, has designed a retinal implant to help restore vision in people who have retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. Nicole Wagner, president and CEO of LambdaVision, Inc. explains the technology in this video. Retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration are eye diseases that cause vision loss. Both involve a loss of photoreceptor cells, commonly known as rods and cones. LambdaVision's implant is inserted behind the retina to replace the function of these damaged cells. The protein-based retinal implant captures light and converts that light into electrochemical signals in a method that is similar to photoreceptor cells. LambdaVision's technology provides a higher resolution than other technologies because of this light-activated protein in their implant, according to Wagner. One challenge LambdaVision encountered was getting the protein to layer on the scaffolding. Wagner says that the NSF funding enabled the team to develop a method to manufacture the implants, as well as a way to measure the vision resolution that the implant provides. Wagner hopes to see the product in the market within the next five to 10 years.
Provided by National Science Foundation