PhysOrg brings to attention the work done by Physicists at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) who have created an artificial retina out of graphene that can interface with the optical nerve. While artificial retinas are nothing new, the main advantages of graphene is the excellent biocompatibility with the body and the quality of the signal transmitted to the brain.
Retina implants can serve as optical prostheses for blind people whose optical nerves are still intact. The implants convert incident light into electrical impulses that are transmitted to the brain via the optical nerve. There, the information is transformed into images. Although various approaches for implants exist today, the devices are often rejected by the body and the signals transmitted to the brain are generally not optimal.
In contrast to the traditionally used materials, graphene has excellent biocompatibility thanks to its great flexibility and chemical durability. With its outstanding electronic properties, graphene provides an efficient interface for communication between the retina prosthesis and nerve tissue.
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