Researchers at MIT and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary are striving to develop an eye implant that could restore vision to patients suffering from retinal disease, including macular degeneration, an age-related condition that is the leading cause of blindness. As currently designed, the retinal implant will have two silicon microchips. One will provide solar power and process an image of the patient's surroundings taken by a tiny camera mounted on glasses worn by the patient. The other will decode picture information and send electric pulses to the retina's ganglion cells, which forward visual signals to the brain.

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