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Pixium Vision Bionic System to Produce Better Results with AR Glasses

Pixium Vision, the company behind the development of the Prima Bionic Vision System, is gearing up for further innovation with the aid of augmented reality (AR) technology. It is targeting better outcomes for patients by using a wireless-type subretinal implant in combination with AR glasses. 

The Prima Bionic System developed by Pixium Vision, is a solution to address age-based macular degeneration. The system focuses on obtaining functional prosthetic bionic vision through methods of electrical retinal stimulation. It aims to compensate for the natural loss of central vision that affects people with age.

The system deals with a miniaturised wireless subretinal photovoltaic-type implant. In layman terms, the implant functions by producing electricity by light conversion. The chip contains 378 electrodes implanted beneath the retina, at the precise locations affected by photoreceptor degeneration.

Macular degeneration gradually degrades the central vision of an individual to such an extent that the person only has a small dark hole on their field of view. The bionic system created by Pixium Vision is undergoing clinical testing for remedying macular degeneration. It requires a minimally invasive surgery process.

Lloyd Diamond, CEO of the Pixium Vision, shed some light on the technique to be used for treating macular degeneration.

Bipolar cells are prioritised by following the subretinal implantation process. It is achieved before the ganglion cells receive any signals, thereby facilitating a physical-type and highly accurate signal processing. – Lloyd Diamond

Augmented reality glasses also play a key role in making the Prima Bionic System perform its intended actions.

According to the team members, the chip and the glasses are linked in their functionality. The chip, with 378 electrodes, a width of 2×2 millimetre and a 30-micron thickness, is implanted under the retina. It functions like a range of miniscule solar panels, obtaining power from a pulsed infrared light. The source of this light is a tiny projector that relays images captured through a miniature camera. Both the projector and camera are parts of the AR glass.

Based on a statement by NS Medical Devices, the photovoltaic cell in the chip transforms optical data into electrical impulses, in a process that excites the retina’s inner bipolar nerve cells. It leads to the generation of vision perception in the brains of individuals.

A French clinical trial of this system was performed with the cooperation of five age-associated macular degeneration patients. The patients selected for the trial were all 60 years or above, with 20/400 visual acuity and the absence of foveal perception.

The initial feasibility trial of the Prima Bionic System for age-based macular degeneration patients have been revealed. Most of them could discern letters and letter sequences, and there weren’t any unfavourable side effects.

A July 18 release by the company highlighted that all patients who participated in the trial possesed central visual action. 12 months following their rehabilitation process, they are able to recognise letters and identify sequences. No issues related to the device were found in the patients.

The company plans to conduct further clinical trials with their system in the coming years.

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