A ‘bionic’ retina implant is to undergo clinical feasibility study in the United States.

The study follows the United States Food & Drug Administration’s approval of the study of Pixium Vision’s PRIMA device.

France-based Pixium Vision says the clinical feasibility study should begin in the first half of this year at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Up to five patients who have lost their sight because of atrophic dry AMD are set to be fitted with a ‘bionic’ retinal implant designed to restore some basic visual function. Pixium’s FDA approval comes just a few months after health authorities in France permitted a similar trial there, with five patients set to receive the implant at a Paris hospital.

The PRIMA system, which uses external glasses in combination with the implant, is designed to provide partial restoration of the patient’s visual function through electrical stimulation of retinal neurons, with the sub-retina implanted stimulator replacing part of the degenerated photoreceptors.

More information: http://optics.org/news/8/12/44.