I read a delightful story in Fairfax papers this morning about the efforts of one man who cooked up diamonds in a microwave-like reactor in five days. Now that may sound like kooky science but the work physics professor Steven Prawer, the inaugural head of the Melbourne Materials Institute at Melbourne University, is doing has the potential to revolutionise the development of a bionic eye.
Professor Prawer’s work is part of the work being undertaken at Bionic Vision Australia, a consortium including the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, the Bionic Ear Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia and NICTA. The project is also supported by researchers from the Australian National University and the University of Western Sydney.
The initiative received $42 million in funding from the federal government in 2009 and in June last year NICTA announced that it had developed a new microchip which was going to take the team a step closer to a high-acuity retinal implant.
Professor’s Prawer’s commendable work is just one of the multiple approaches being pursued to make the bionic eye a reality. This infographic from mezzmer.com, courtesy of Infographic Archive, highlights some of the science and what form future implants may take.