Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Helping the blind to see

02.06.2005


Becoming the market leader in the neurostimulation sector, by initially helping blind patients regain their sight, is the vision of Bonn-based start-up company IIP-Technologies.



IIP has made considerable progress in developing the first ‘intelligent’ retina implant in the world. Thanks to this implant it is possible to restore limited eyesight to people who have lost their sight following retina degeneration.

In Germany alone, about 60,000 people suffer from retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary visual defect that can lead to complete blindness. Currently, there are no therapies available to treat the condition.


The patent-protected implant developed by IIP combines medicinal and information technology with micro-systems technology. A blind patient has a unique microchip implanted in their eye, wears special glasses with an integrated camera and carries a microcomputer on a belt around their waist. Visual information received by the glasses is converted into electrical pulses by the microcomputer and the pulses then used to stimulate the patient’s optic nerve. The implant helps restore limited eyesight to people affected with specific hereditary blindness.

IIP obtained encouraging results for their retina implant during an initial clinical research study conducted at four leading university hospitals in Germany and Austria in 2003 and 2004. Of the 20 patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa who participated in the study, 19 reported that their visual perception had been triggered thanks to electrical stimulations from IIP’s retina implant.

Following the promising results of their first clinical trial, IIP has launched a new trial this year, in cooperation with University Hospital Hamburg, involving patients with macular degeneration. Additionally, IIP has initiated procedures to obtain approval for their technology from the US Food and Drug Administration.

IIP was co-founded in 2002 by Steffen Suchert, the firm’s chairman, and now employs around 30 people. In March last year, IIP successfully concluded a 4.5m euro initial financing round involving PolyTechnos Venture–Partners Funds and Valtronic, a Swiss electronics manufacturer.

“IIP plan to raise up to 10m euro in venture capital funding in the fourth quarter of 2005,” announce IIP management. “These funds will be mainly used to finance the clinical trials necessary for the CE Mark and FDA approval processes, to produce the devices necessary for those clinical trials, to continue with research and development and for marketing in connection with the product launch.”

Looking to the next five years, IIP management announce: “Our intention is to have improved versions of the first product (retina implant) on the market and a platform for new applications in the area of neurostimulation.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>