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Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living

Scientists 3D-print a 'bionic eye' that could soon let blind people see again

Date: 29/8/2018
Summary: It’s a staple feature in many science fiction blockbusters, and now scientists have developed a fully 3D printed bionic eye for the first time.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface.

Dr Michael McAlpine, co-author of the study, said: “Bionic eyes are usually thought of as science fiction, but now we are closer than ever using a multimaterial 3D printer.”

To create the bionic eye, the researchers started with a hemispherical glass dome.

Then, using a 3D-printer, they created a base ink of silver particles, before printing ‘photodiodes’ - semiconductors that convert light into electricity.

During trials, the team found that the 3D-printed semiconductors could convert light into electricity with 25 per cent efficiency.

The team now plans to create a prototype with more light receptors that are even more efficient.

They’d also like to find a way to print on a softer material that can be implanted into a real eye.

Source: Mirror

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