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UO Scientists Receive $900,000 Grant for Retinal Implant

University of Oregon

A team of scientist at the University of Oregon has received a $900,000 grant. The team, led by physicist Richard Taylor, hopes to develop a bio-inspired retinal implant.

The implant could be used to reverse vision loss caused by common eye conditions.
UO Physicist Richard Taylor says there are medications that can arrest retinal diseases, but not cure them.
Taylor: “What we want to do is develop a little electronic implant that somewhere down the line a surgeon could implant it into the retina so that it restores functionality to that diseased region so that the people can see again.”
Taylor says the implant design is bio-inspired—meaning it will be based on the body’s natural network of cells that transmit chemical and electrical signals through the body.
The grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation will fund seven graduate students for the next three years.
The team of researchers includes faculty from the departments of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and biology. They hope this project will impact other potential artificial implants that will not just restore, but enhance, human performance.