Design of a Prototype for Vision Prosthesis

Design of a Prototype for Vision Prosthesis

V. Bhujanga Rao (NIAS I I Sc. Campus, Bangalore, India), P. Seetharamaiah (Dept. of CSSE Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India) and Nukapeyi Sharmili (Gayatri vidya Parishad College of Engineering for Women, Visakhapatnam, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJBCE.2018070101

Abstract

This article describes how the field of vision prostheses is currently being developed around the world to restore useful vision for people suffering from retinal degenerative diseases. The vision prosthesis system (VPS) maps visual images to electrical pulses and stimulates the surviving healthy parts in the retina of the eye, i.e. ganglion cells, using electric pulses applied through an electrode array. The retinal neurons send visual information to the brain. This article presents the design of a prototype vision prosthesis system which converts images/video into biphasic electric stimulation pulses for the excitation of electrodes simulated by an LED array. The proposed prototype laboratory model has been developed for the design of flexible high-resolution 1024-electrode VPS, using an embedded computer-based efficient control algorithm for better visual prediction. The prototype design for the VPS is verified visually through a video display on an LCD/LED array. The experimental results of VPS are enumerated for the test objects, such as, palm, human face and large font characters. The results were found to be satisfactory.
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1. Introduction

Vision prosthesis restores vision to the blind patients suffering from incurable retinal degenerative diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (Banarji, Gurunadh, Patyal, Ahluwalia, Vats and Bhadauria, 2009; Kelly et al., 2009;Weiland, Liu, and Humayun, 2005; Tran, Yang, Bai, Ng, Halpern, Grayden, Skafidas, and Mareels, 2009; Tran, Skafidas, Yang, Bai, Fu, Ng, Halpern, and Mareels, 2011; Ganesan, Stacey, Meffin, Lichter, Greferath, Fletcher, and Prawer, 2010; Chen, Lo,Yang, Weiland, Humayun, and Liu, 2013; Wang, Wang, Tang, and Liu, 2012; Matteucci, Paul, Byrnes-Preston, Chen, Lovell, and Suaning, 2011; Fink, Wolfgang, You, and Tarbell, 2010; Noorsal, Sooksood, Xu, Hornig, Becker, and Ortmanns, 2012; Zhou, David, Dorn, and Greenberg, 2013; Microcontrollers Datasheet, n.d.; Liu and Humayun, 2004; Greenwald, Horsager, Humayun, Greenberg, McMahon, and Fine, 2009; Omni Vision, n.d.; Zou, Yuexian, Shi, Jin, and YaliZheng, 2009). AMD and RP cause dysfunction of the photoreceptors, resulting in blindness, but their retinal ganglion communication) cells were still intact. Several distinct vision prosthesis approaches (i.e. Cortex, Optic nerve and Retinal) have been developed over the years. Retinal prostheses can be divided into two categories: epi-retinal and sub-retinal, depending on where in the retina the device is implanted and they aimed to stimulate the inner retina by bypassing damaged photoreceptors. Of these approaches, majority of the researchers are concentrating on epiretinal prosthesis in surgical and technical point of view. Epiretinal approach is advantageous over subretinal approach in aspect of surgery and sufficient space to place electronic components, separation of the electronics, software control and possibility of upgrades without surgery.

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