Visual effects reported from first human artificial retina

Nano Retina has announced preliminary results for first-in-human implantation of its NR600 artificial retina device. The first two patients to receive the device in March 2020 reported visual effect.

The NR600 mimics the natural physiological processes of the human eye and restores functional vision to persons blinded by retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

As part of a European multicenter clinical trial enrolling up to 20 patients for the purpose of obtaining CE approval of the NR600, the first two patients, blinded by retinitis pigmentosa, underwent the minimally invasive procedure to implant the device. The procedures were both performed in the Department of Ophthalmology of the University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, by Professor Peter Stalmans, one of Europe’s leading retina specialists. 

Following activation of the device, both patients reported visual effects, which Nano Retina expects to optimize over the coming months. As regards the second patient to receive the device, Professor Stalmans stated: “The device was activated for the first time, and the result was amazing: this patient has been completely in the dark for 5 years now, and she immediately reported seeing an image in the center of her visual field when the device was activated, and could show with her hands the size of the image that she saw. I am very impressed by this experience. I have been working for more than 20 years as an ophthalmologist, but this is the first time I witnessed a completely blind patient being given back a visual perception.” 

SOURCE: Press release