03 July 2017

Argus in Russia

Scientists from Russia have transplanted a cyberset into a human eye for the first time

On Friday, June 30, scientists and doctors from the Scientific and Clinical Center of Otorhinolaryngology of the FMBA of Russia performed the first operation in the history of Russia to implant a cyberset in the eye of a blind patient, which will allow him to see the world again in a month, RIA Novosti correspondent reports from the scene.

"This is the first operation, in the near future we plan to carry out another such transplant. Now we are selecting a patient for a second implantation, and this procedure, a complex multi–stage selection, will be completed in about a month," explained Igor Tikhomirov, a representative of the Art, Science and Sport Foundation, which supports these operations.

One of the most modern and promising cybernetic vision systems developed by scientists in recent years, the Argus II bionic eye, was used for implantation. It was created within the walls of the Second Sight company in the middle of the last decade and was first presented to the public in 2009, when a British volunteer partially regained his eyesight thanks to its installation in his eyes.

It consists of three components – a cyber grid of six dozen electrodes, special sunglasses with integrated cameras and a special pocket computer that converts signals into a format understandable to the brain.

Photo: Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.

In today's form, Argus II allows blind people to see white and black lines and distinguish between large letters and words. One such system, at the current rates of Second Sight, costs about 140 thousand US dollars.

In 2012, Second Sight specialists and a number of independent ophthalmologists and neurophysiologists led by Allen Ho from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia (USA) began large-scale clinical trials of Argus II, in which over 30 volunteers from the USA and Europe took part. These trials were successfully completed in 2015, and now the Argus II system has begun to be widely used in clinical practice.

Russian doctors today performed an operation for the first time to implant such a cybersetcher, connecting it to the nervous system of a 59-year-old patient from Chelyabinsk, who completely lost his eyesight due to a progressive disease.

The operation, as noted by Tikhomirov, was carried out with the participation of Second Sight specialists, including a surgeon from the University of Manchester, who participated in the first installation of Argus II in The United States. It lasted 4.5 hours and required the concentration of efforts of eight specialists – two surgeons, ophthalmologists, an anesthesiologist, two nurses, reserve surgeons and one engineer.

The operation was led by Professor Hristo Periklovich Takhchidi, his assistants were Professor Paulo Stanga, Roman Manoyan, Sister Evgenia Mizina, engineer Sergey Primakov, anesthesiologist Valentina Anokhina, and ophthalmologists Nika Takhchidi and Amina Shafigullina.

According to scientists, the patient's vision will not return immediately after the completion of the operation – for the next few weeks, doctors will monitor the restoration of the eye and how the retina will take root. If all these processes are successfully completed, then specialists will try to "turn on" the patient's "cyber eye" in about two to three weeks.

The successful completion of the operation, according to its sponsors and the doctors themselves, will help restore vision to about 50 thousand Russians who lost it as a result of the destruction of the retina, and will pave the way for the localization of the production of Argus II and other similar implants, which will reduce their prices.

In addition to the foundation "Art, Science and Sport", the project involves the foundation "So-unity", ANO "Laboratory "Sensor-Tech", LLC "Trading Company "Medical Equipment" and the company Second Sight itself.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  03.07.2017

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