US Patent No. 8,000,000 Awarded to Second Sight Medical Products for a “Visual Prosthesis Apparatus” that Enhances Visual Perception for the Sight Impaired

On September 8, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") will host a ceremonial signing Thursday for US Patent No. 8,000,000 entitled "Visual Prosthesis Apparatus" which enhances visual perception for those that have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration; also on the agenda is an overview of the patent reform legislation which is currently before Congress (The America Invents Act).

The Argus® II, the subject matter of US Patent No. 8,000,000, is designed to bypass damaged photoreceptors. A miniature video camera housed in the patient’s glasses and  sends information to a small computer worn by the patient where it is processed and transformed into instructions which are transmitted wirelessly to a receiver in an implanted stimulator. The signals are then sent to an electrode array which is attached to the retina and which emits small pulses of electricity. These electrical pulses are intended to bypass the damaged photoreceptors and stimulate the retina’s remaining cells to transmit visual information along the optic nerve to the brain.

For more information, please see the USPTO press release: