DOE Artificial Retina Project

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Funding for this work ended in FY 2011.

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Artificial Retina: In the News

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February 14, 2013 FDA Approves Argus II

After more than 20 years of research and development, Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., has announced that it's Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System ("Argus II") has received U.S. market approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat individuals with late stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This announcement followed receipt of the European approval in 2011, and a unanimous recommendation by the FDA's Ophthalmic Devices Advisory Panel in September 2012 that this revolutionary product be made available to treat this patient population in the U.S.

With approval from the FDA, the Argus II is slated to be available later in 2013 in clinical centers across the country. Second Sight will be actively adding sites to make the therapy more readily available and encourages interested facilities and patients to contact them.

About Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

RP, an inherited retinal degenerative disease that often results in nearly complete blindness, affects roughly 100,000 Americans.  The Argus II System is intended to help the worst-affected RP patients, and this approval was made under a Humanitarian Device Exemption intended to expedite market introduction of technologies intended to treat smaller, underserved patient populations.

For more information, visit

Recent Articles

The FDA approves bionic eye (with video)
New York Times, February 15, 2013

Bionic eye lets the blind see
Slate, February 15, 2013

FDA approves 'bionic eye' for rare vision disorder
WebMD, February 14, 2013

World's first bionic eye receives FDA approval
Popular Science, February 14, 2013

Bionic eye becomes a reality
Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2013

Bionic eye implant approved to help regain sight lost to disease
San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2013

The blind may soon see again as science prepares to market high-tech cyborg eye
Daily Mail, February 8, 2013

First Bionic Eye For US Market Awaits Approval From FDA
Forbes, January 29, 2013

Robotic eye gives blind people the power of sight, February 14, 2011

Popular Mechanics award given to artificial retina team, September 30, 2010

SoCal inventors recognized by Popular Mechanics, September 28, 2010

New technology gives hope for the blind
ABC7 News, April 15, 2010

New sight for the blind
San Francisco Business Times, April 3, 2010

Artificial retina restores sight to the blind
Ventura County Star, February 24, 2010

Seeing and believing
Conta Costa Times, February 21, 2010

Working on a cure for blindness
ABC12 News, February 12, 2010 (with video)

Lab plays key role in DOE's artificial retina project
R&D Magazine, February 10, 2010

Technology behind Second Sight retinal prosthesis
medGadget, February 4, 2010

Third generation artificial retina could restore site to millions
AZoM News, February 4, 2010

Medical minute 2-3: Was blind but now can see
WCTV-TV, February 3, 2010

Artificial retina gives woman limited vision after decades of darkness
CNN (includes video), December 11, 2009

Blind man fitted with 'bionic' eye sees for first time in 30 years
Daily Mail, November 27, 2009

Artificial retina, video camera give partial vision to the blind, October 20, 2009 (includes video)

Bionic eye opens new world of sight for blind
National Public Radio, October 20, 2009

Burst of technology helps blind to see
New York Times, September 26, 2009

Implant gives new hope to the blind
Philadelphia Inquirer, September 8, 2009

Livermore, Los Alamos Team for Artificial Retina Project to Help Restore Vision for Many
FLC NewsLink, September 2009 (see page 6 of PDF)

Artificial retina project has ORNL roots
ORNL Reporter, August 28, 2009

The "holy grail" of ophthalmic devices
Assembly Magazine, August 20, 2009

Artificial-retina project designed to restore sight to the blind
Science Daily, August 4, 2009

Battelle and affiliated national labs win 24 R&D 100 awards
TMC News, July 20, 2009

ORNL researchers win 8 R&D 100 awards, July 20, 2009

Caltech-supported innovation to treat blindness earns R+D 100 award
A to Z of Optics, July 20, 2009

Aumenta el uso de nanomateriales: Se están probando para fabricar retinas artificiales, detener hemorragias y absorber sustancias contaminantes
La Nacion (Argentina), March 24, 2009

Engineering sight: researchers collaboration on implantable device that promises to restore vision
Columbus Dispatch, March 22, 2009

Prosthetic implants to prevent blindness
Medical News Today, March 21, 2009

ORNL, Southern Cal set sights on preventing blindness
R&D Magazine, March 19, 2009

Bionic eye begins to see real-world results
Gizmag, March 11, 2009

Eyes and the lens of the future
MSO Korea, March 10, 2009 (link no longer available)

Device restores limited sight to the blind
SFGate, March 9, 2009

Device restores limited sight to the blind
ABC15TV, March 9, 2009

Bionic eye offers blind gift of sight
CBS11TV, March 6, 2009

Health alert: bionic eye a sight to behold (article includes video)
CBS3CW, March 6, 2009

Blind patients given 'bionic eye' (article includes video)
BBC, March 4, 2009

Bionic eye helps blind man see again
News Scotsman, March 4, 2009

Goan doc pioneers bionic eye
The Times of India, Feb. 23, 2009

Bionic eye implant
Buffalo News, Jan. 11, 2009

Researchers set their sights on artificial retinas
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 4, 2009

Eyecare and eyewear trends for 2009 and beyond
International Business Times, Dec. 30, 2008

Eyecare device to undergo clinical trial by Dec 2009
Wall Street Journal (, Nov. 6, 2008

US-based eye center to test artificial retina in India
SmartBrief, Nov. 6, 2008

DOE-sponsored project readies human trial for artificial retinas
Slashdot, June 26, 2008

Next-generation artificial retina focuses on clinical trials
EE Times, June 26, 2008

Argus II - restoring vision to the blind with microchips news, June 25, 2008

Sight for the blind: the bionic eye
Nigerian Tribune, May 14, 2008
(link no longer available)

Electronic retinal device may help blind people see
Printed Electronics World, May 13, 2008

Bionic eye implants give partial vision to blind patients
Daily Tech, April 23, 2008

'Bionic eye' gives blind people some sight
Guardian, April 22, 2008

Bionic eye 'blindness cure hope'
BBC News, April 21, 2008

Bionic eye implants make blind 'see again' in pioneering operation
The Mail on Sunday, (UK), April 21, 2008

World's first true bionic eye
Sky News, April 21, 2008

Bionic breaktrough helps blind see
Sky News Video, April 21, 2008

Platinum chip allows woman to see again
Platinum Today, April 21, 2008

Surgeons give hope to blind with successful 'bioniceye' operations
Times Online, London, April 21, 2008

Bionic eye helps the blind see, April 21, 2008
(link no longer available)

Breakthrough--bionic eye Lets the blind see
Islamic Republic News Agency, April 21, 2008
(link no longer available)

Bionic eye' offers grandmother the chance to enjoy a view of the future
News Scotsman, April 21, 2008 (Scotland)

Scientists set sights on an implantable prosthetic for the blind
Scientific American, March 19, 2008

Building a bionic eye
Science Illustrated, January/February 2008

Till the well of research runs dry: without funding to replenish science, US technological advances will cease
Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2007

Welcome to the new body shop
Times Online UK, Nov. 3, 2007

Decoding the human eye: superdense arrays of electrodes will bring scientists closer to an artificial retina that approximates normal vision
MIT Technology Review, Oct. 24, 2007

Eyesight to the blind
Utne Reader, October 2007

Eye camera restores sight
Edmonton Sun, Sept. 12, 2007
(link no longer available)

Texas Instruments: processing away the pain
Health-care innovations are coming from an unexpected source: Texas Instruments
Business Week, Sept. 3, 2007

Restoring sight, one pixel at a time
CCNews, Aug. 8, 2007

The body beautified
Digit, July 2007
(link no longer available)

Nu får blinde synet tilbage
Illustreret Videnskab, (Denmark), 2007

Seeing is believing in micro Implants
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, June 11, 2007
(link no longer available)

Signing on for hazardous duty
Advanced Imaging Magazine, May 29, 2007

A second chance at sight
IEC E-Tech Online News, April 2007

Device could give partial sight to the blind
ABC 7 News, KGO-TV/DT, San Francisco, April 11, 2007

Bionic implants available today
medGadget, March 29, 2007

Six million dollar man
Voice of America's Our World (link no longer available)
Interview with Mark Humayun, March 17, 2007

TechSmart: innovations for your life
ABC 7 News Chicago (Text and Video), March 16, 2007

Eyesight chip
ScienCentral News, March 15, 2007

FDA approves study of next-generation retinal implant
Electronic Design, March 15, 2007

Neuroscience probes new frontiers
CNN, March 6, 2007

New hope for the blind
Reuters (Video), March 5, 2007

USC researcher develops bionic eye
CBS, February 27, 2007

Robotic retina offers second chance for sight
Daily Times, (Pakistan), February 26, 2007

Retinal implant moves a step closer
Optician Online, February 23, 2007

The substitution solution: restoring vision, hearing, and movement
The Why Files, February 22, 2007

Seeing is not believing
Guardian Unlimited, February 20, 2007

Retinal implant restores sight
Ivanhoe, February 19, 2007

Un 'ojo biónico' permite a seis ciegos recobrar parcialmente la visión
IntraMed, Feb. 19, 2007

Los científicos buscan prótesis 'inteligentes' para paliar la pérdida de vista y de movimiento, February 19, 2007

The bionic eye Approaches: the next generation of retinal implants
Gizmag, February 19, 2007

USC developing next generation of retinal implants
Daily Tech, February 19, 2007

Retinal implant raises hope for restored vision
The Money Times, (India), February 18, 2007

'Bionic eye' offers hope to blind
Japan Today, February 18, 2007

Bionic eye for blind in sight
New York Post, February 18, 2007
(link no longer available)

Un 'ojo biónico' permite a seis ciegos recobrar parcialmente la visión (Madrid), Feburary 18, 2007

Bionic eye offers hope of sight to the blind
Sydney Morning Herald, February 18, 2007

Eye implant could open world to blind
The West Australian, February 18, 2007

Bionic eye: second chance for sight
Pakistan Dawn, Feb. 18, 2007

Retinal implant restores limited sight to blind, February 17, 2007
(link no longer available)

'Bionic' eye successfully restores partial vision
EarthTimes, February 17, 2007

Millions to benefit as first bionic eye comes to market
The Times (UK), February 17, 2007

Six blind people regain partial sight thanks to 'bionic eye' implant
The Guardian (UK), February 17, 2007

Bionic eye restores sight to the blind
FoxNews, Feburary 17, 2007

Bionic eye implant holds hope for millions of blind
Gulf News (UAE), February 17, 2007

I could see my son for the first time in 13 years
Telegraph (UK), February 17, 2007

Retinal implant restores limited sight to blind
Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 16, 2007

Retinal implant restores Limited sight to blind, February 16, 2007
(link no longer available)

Chip to help blind see 'due in two years'
Scotsman, February 16, 2007
(link no longer available)

Tests set to begin on next-generation electronic retina
Argus II may one day offer sight to blind people, experts say
Computerworld, February 16, 2007

Better 'bionic eye' offers new hope of restored vision
New Scientist, February 16, 2007

Trials for 'bionic' eye implants
BBC, February 16, 2007

Artificial retina implant holds promise for blind
Khaleej Times, (UAE), February 16, 2007
(link no longer available)

Tests set to begin on next-generation electronic retina
PC World, February 16, 2007

Next-generation retinal iImplant
MIT Technology Review, February 16, 2007

Boffins see the light with bionic eye
Vnunet, February 16, 2007

Artificial retina implant holds promise for blind
ABC News, February 15, 2007
(link no longer available)

Nano's big future
National Geographic Magazine, June 2006 (subscription required)

Biomedical engineering: A vision for the blind
Science, May 26, 2006 (subscription required)

2005 Innovator of the Year: Mark Humayun brings sight to the blind
R&D Magazine, October 20, 2005 (free)

A biomimetic retinal stimulating array
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2005 (free)

Cutting edge trio
Los Angeles Business Journal, Aug. 8, 2005 (link no longer available)

The bionic eye
Popular Science, June 1, 2005 (free)

Diamond coating for Second Sight iImplant
medGadget Internet Journal for Emerging Technologies, April 5, 2005 (free)

Artificial retina gets diamond coating
News@ Nature, March 28, 2005
(link no longer available)

Cybersenses episode
PBS television Scientific American Frontiers, March 6, 2005 (free)

VIsion quest: bionic eyes
The Scientist, May 10, 2004 (subscription required)

Retinal prosthesis provides hope for restoring sight
LLNL Science and Technology, Nov. 7, 2003

DoE spearheads collaboration on retinal prostheses
Neurotech Business Report, 2003 (free)

Rays of hope for the blind
Wall street Journal, August 27, 2003 (subscription required)

Visionary implant: artificial retinas
Economist, September 20, 2001 (subscription required)

MEMS micromachines: they're huge
Forbes, April 2, 2001 (free)

An electric retina
The Whitaker Foundation 2000 Annual Report (free)

Prosthetic retinas for the blind
Business Week, May 27, 2002 (free)

The innovators: Meet the 65 companies and their owners who have conjured up the latest wave of products, services, and technologies
A chip fights blindness
Fortune Small Business, May 2001 (free)

Seeing the light
Johns Hopkins Magazine, Nov. 1999

Press Releases

February 14, 2013. FDA Approves Argus II

Mark Humayun inducted into Institute of Medicine
Institute of Medicine press release, 10/12/2009

Artificial Retina Project wins Prestigious 2009 R&D 100 Award
Article and multiple press releases, 07/20/2009

Second Sight to double patient enrollment for Argus™ II retinal implant U.S. clinical trial
Second Sight press release, 05/04/09

See more releases in Press Release Archive


The Artificial Retina Project was part of the
Biological and Environmental Research Program
of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
Funding for this work ended in FY 2011.


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Last modified: Monday, July 10, 2017