At the beginning of 2015, Ray Flynn couldn’t see a thing in front of him. The 80-year-old suffered from a common disease called dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which caused him to lose his central line of sight and required him to rely on his peripheral vision instead. Flynn couldn’t use ATMs and had trouble distinguishing weeds from flowers in his garden. But in June, Flynn received the world’s first retinal implant to treat AMD, which left the patient with a bonafide bionic eye.
According to the researchers and Michael McAlpine, a study’s co-author and professor at the University of Minnesota,” We were able to 3D-print on a hemispherical surface an array of light receptors. Published in the journal Advanced Materials on Tuesday, the study is the first to reveal a way to create a 3D-printed bionic eye with this method.
Bionic eyes are usually thought of as science fiction, but now we are closer than ever using a multi-material 3D printer; he also mentioned that we have a long way to go to print active electronics reliably routinely, but our 3D-printed semiconductors are now starting to show that they could potentially rival the efficiency of semiconducting devices fabricated in micro-fabrication facilities plus, we can easily print a semiconducting device on a curved surface, and they can’t.”