By Jon Vegas
15 Mar 2019
1 step closer to the ‘Bionic Eye’
We are closer to Bionic Eye than we have ever been. A team of researchers who represent the University of Minnesota have successfully 3D printed an array of light receptors on to a hemispherical surface. This really is a huge step towards creating the “bionic eye”. Obviously this would revolutionise the current procedure to helping blind people or sighted people see better.
“Bionic eyes are usually thought of as science fiction, but now we are closer than ever using a multi material 3D printer,” claimed Michael McAlpine, co-author of the study and University of Minnesota
Initially the research started when they overcame the challenge of printing electronics onto a curved surface. They successfully got the electronics onto a hemispherical glass dome to demonstrate how they jumped this first hurdle. Then using their advance 3D printer they painted a base layer of ink (silver particles). This ink did its job and stayed in place once dried, this is what they wanted rather than having the ink run down the dome. Then the researchers used semiconducting polymer materials which succeeded in printing photodiodes (their role is to convert light into electricity).
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