Monash Vision Group’s Gennaris Cortical Implant for Vision Restoration
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The Gennaris bionic vision system is a wireless device that has been designed to directly stimulate the primary visual cortex to restore useful vision to people with bilateral, irreversible blindness. Here, we describe the end-to-end system and the design of each component. The rationale for design decisions is provided, including the benefits of cortical stimulation, the need for wireless power and data transmission and the format of the autonomous implant tiles and penetrating micro-electrode arrays. We discuss the broad population of people for which this device may provide benefit, with reference to specific indications of blindness.
Details of laboratory and preclinical tests that we have used to verify the electrical functionality of the device are described. A description of the surgical method that has been developed for implanting tiles in the visual cortex is provided, which will be used to demonstrate proof-of-concept of the system in first-in-human studies. Highlighted is the importance of post-surgical device calibration, psychophysics testing and training of recipients in using the system in both controlled and unsupervised environments. Signal processing algorithms that have been developed to enhance the user experience are described and details provided of how these have been tested to optimise their integration into the full system. Finally, we describe how the Gennaris technology can be applied to a broad spectrum of other technological and health-related challenges.
KeywordsCortical stimulation Bionic vision Wireless link Implant tile Hermetic Penetrating electrodes Annulus Neurosurgery Neural plasticity Academic-industry partnership
Special acknowledgement goes to Dr. Collette Mann, who sadly passed away before publication of this Book. As Monash Vision Group’s Clinical Coordinator, Dr. Mann’s contribution to this Chapter included the generation of human response data using our Hatpack bionic vision simulator, in addition to proof reading Chapter content.
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