Will the Gennaris bionic vision system work for me?
The Gennaris bionic vision system is being developed for people with profound vision impairment, who have an intact visual cortex, and have previously had a fully functional visual pathway. Gennaris could restore sight to people who have sustained damage to their optic nerves and/or eyes as a result of physical trauma or conditions such as glaucoma and people with acquired retinal, optic nerve or ocular disease.
Will it destroy the areas of natural sight I still have?
With many conditions, people gradually lose sight in some areas of their visual field but not others. As the MVG approach does not require eye surgery, we believe that existing sight may be retained and supplemented with the Gennaris system. However, the exact nature of the restored sight will not be understood until we begin our first human tests and is likely to vary strongly between different people depending on their medical history and individual conditions.
How will the brain implant be inserted?
A small area of the skull is removed using standard neurosurgical techniques. A series of sterile, biologically inert devices known as 'tiles', each having 43 hair-thin electrodes, will then be implanted directly on the surface of the visual cortex of the brain. The area of skull that has been removed is then replaced with a custom-made cranial implant, providing a barrier to protect against infection.
What will I see when I’m using the device?
Based on our current knowledge, we expect that when you are using the device you will see a visual pattern, formed from combinations of hundreds of spots of light known as phosphenes. Although the number of phosphenes may be low when compared to full and natural vision, enough information should be provided to enable you to navigate indoor and outdoor environments and recognise the presence of people and objects in your immediate vicinity. However, we will only fully understand the nature of the vision our device provides after we have started our clinical research with human volunteers.