Category Archives: Eyes

Fractal-shaped electrodes could improve retinal implants

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William Watterson and Richard Taylor an the  University of Oregon are in the early stages of developing fractal-shaped electrodes for use as retinal implants to restore sight.  They believe that the square shape of previous generations of electrodes prevented their success.  (86 per cent fail.) The fractal shape mimics the design of the neurons they interact with.

In simulations, the fractal design stimulated 90 per cent more neurons in the retina, while using less voltage than a traditional implant.

The team is working on shrinking the implants before they are tested on mice — therefore the possibility of human use is far off and not guaranteed — but the concept is promising.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab – featuring  Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Nathan Intrator –  Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Michael Weintraub – Nancy Brown – Steve Kraus – Bill Geary – Mary Lou Jepsen – Daniela Rus

Registration rates increase Friday, July 28th.


ANNOUNCING WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH + NEUROTECH SILICON VALLEY – FEBRUARY 26 -27, 2018 @ STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Direct brain path for sight, sound via implanted microscope

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Rice University’s Jacob Robinson, with Yale and Columbia colleagues, are developing FlatScope — a flat, brain implanted microscope that monitors and triggers neurons which are modified to be fluorescent when active.

While capturing greater detail than current brain probes, the microscope also goes through deep levels that illustrate  sensory input processing — which they hope to be able to control.

Aiming to produce a super high-resolution neural interface, FlatScope is a part of  DARPA’s NESD program, founded by Phillip Alvelda, and now led by Brad Ringeisen.


Phillip Alvelda will be a featured speaker at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston conference on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab.  Other speakers include:  Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Nathan Intrator –  Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar  – Michael Weintraub – Nancy Brown – Steve Kraus – Bill Geary – Mary Lou Jepsen – Daniela Rus

Registration rates increase Friday, July 21st

Less invasive, soft tissue artificial retina

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Oxford University student Vanessa Restrepo-Schild is developing a synthetic, soft tissue retina that more closely resembles human tissue than current artificial retina technology.

Unlike existing implants, the cell-cultures are created from natural, biodegradable materials and do not contain foreign bodies or living entities. This makes the implant less invasive than a mechanical device, and less likely to have an adverse reaction on the body.

The technology has only been tested in a lab, therefore its usefulness with living tissues is unknown.  If successful, this could be a breakthrough for the visually impaired.

The retina replica consists of soft water droplets  and biological cell membrane proteins. Designed like a camera, the cells act as pixels, detecting and reacting to light to create a grey scale image. The synthetic material can generate electrical signals, which stimulate the neurons at the back of our eye, similar to an original retina.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab. Featuring Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator

 

Transparent, stretchable lens sensor for diabetes, glaucoma detection

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UNIST professors Jang-Ung Park, Chang Young Lee and Franklin Bien, and KNU professors Hong Kyun Kim and Kwi-Hyun Bae, have developed a contact lens sensor to monitor biomarkers for intraocular pressure, diabetes mellitus, and other health conditions. Several attempts have been  made to monitor diabetes via glucose in tears.  The challenge has been poor wearability, as the electrodes used in existing smart contact lenses are opaque, obscuring  one’s view.  Many wearers also complained of significant discomfort from the lens-shaped firm plastic material. The research team addressed this by developing a sensor based on transparent, stretchable, flexible materials  graphene sheets and metal nanowires. This allowed the creation of lenses comfortable and accurate enough for eventual self-monitoring of glucose levels and eye pressure. Patients can transmit their health information through an embedded wireless antenna in the leans, allowing real-time monitoring  The system uses  the wireless antenna to read sensor information, eliminating the need for a separate power source.

Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab. Featuring Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator

Diabetic retinopathy-detecting algorithm for remote diagnosis

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Google has developed an algorithm which it claims is capable of detecting diabetic retinopathy in photographs.  The goal is to improve the quality and availability of screening for, and early detection of,  the common and debilitating condition.

Typically, highly trained specialists are required to examine photos, to detect the lesions that indicate bleeding and fluid leakage in the eye. This obviously makes screening difficult in poor and remote locations.

Google developed a dataset of 128,000 images, each evaluated by 3-7 specially-trained doctors, which trained  a neural network to detect referable diabetic retinopathy.  Performance was tested on two clinical validation sets of 12,000 images. The majority decision of a panel 7 or 8 ophthalmologists served as the reference standard. The results showed that the accuracy of the  Google  algorithm was equal to that of the physicians.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Fully transparent, glucose monitoring contact lens

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Oregon State’s Greg Herman has developed a transparent sensor to monitor glucose (via tears) in a contact lens.  The device could also be used to control insulin infusions, by transmitting real-time data to a pump.

Similar technology has been developed by Google, although their lens is not (currently) fully transparent, and Noviosense, which requires a user to insert a device in the lower lid.

Herman believes that the lens sensor could also be used to monitor stress hormones, uric acid, and  ocular pressure in glaucoma.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Miguel Nicolelis – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth

Eye tracking + VR to improve brain injury diagnosis, track recovery

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Eye tracking technology, combined with VR, is proliferating, with myriad medical, gaming, and education applications.

SyncThink uses eye tracking, built into an Oculus Rift,  to detect if a person has the ability to keep

the eyes synced with moving objects, to determine brain injury and track recovery.

The company has been granted 10 patents, for  eye-tracking hardware, and analytical techniques for stimulating, measuring, and training brain attention networks. It has been used to detect concussions on the field and evaluate soldier readiness and brain impairment after injury. The company describes additional applications including characterizing and monitoring fatigue, performance, and developmental or neurodegenerative conditions.

Eyefluence, which was today acquired by Google, creates head-mounted display AR, VR, and mixed reality interfaces. According to the company,  its AR application allows critical care professionals to access patient data with their eyes while their hands treat the injured.  VR integrations humanize experiences, reduce nausea, optimize image resolution, and increase speed.

ApplySci believes that the next step in AR/VR enhancement is integrating mobile EEG into headsets, combining eye tracking, GSR, and  brainwave data into various applications.


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Miguel Nicolelis – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth

Contact lens/eyeglass system monitors blood sugar, dispenses drugs

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Pohang University’s Sae Kwang Han and Do Hee Keum have developed a contact lens/ eyeglass combination  to monitor diabetes and dispense drugs as needed.  The glasses wirelessly power and communicate with the drug-releasing lens, that monitors glucose concentration in tears.  An LED alarm lights up when sugar levels are very high. The lens can be worn for one month.

A user can  tell the eyeglasses to send a drug-releasing signal to the chip with voice commands. A control circuit is being created to automate the process,  deciding independently when medicine is needed. To release drugs, the chip draws on one of ten drug reservoirs chambers that are carved into the hydrogel, and covered with a thin gold electrode membrane. The voltage dissolves the membrane and releases the drug.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

 

Vision enhancing, injectable smart lens

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Google has filed a patent for a vision enhancing, injectable smart lens. The “intraocular device” is meant to replace one’s natural lens, and focus light onto the eye’s retina. It is injected into the eye in a solution that congeals and attaches to the lens capsule.   It will contain its own storage, and tiny radio components that will communicate with an external processor. An energy harvesting antenna will power the device wirelessly.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Voice controlled wearable supports sight-impaired mobility

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Toyota’s Project BLAID is a  camera based assistive device concept, meant to help the visually impaired identify bathrooms, escalators, stairs, elevators, doors, signs, and logos.

The wearable, which is in an early stage of development, is worn on the shoulders, wrapped around the neck, like an electronic scarf.  It will be controlled by voice commands, and relay information via audio and haptic cues.  It can also be paired with a phone via Bluetooth. The company plans to include mapping, object identification, and facial recognition technologies at a later stage.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences