n African Vision and Eye Health - Emerging technologies in artificial ocular devices : a systematic review - review article

Volume 77 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2413-3183
  • E-ISSN: 2410-1516
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Background: Recent developments in vision restoration include visual prostheses designed to electrically stimulate artificial vision in those who have lost their sight. Major efforts in this area include multi-electrode arrays surgically implanted at various placement areas throughout the visual pathway. Visual prosthetic devices are named according to these placement areas (cortical, optic nerve, sub-retinal and epiretinal). These devices attempt to restore sight for retinal degenerative diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). 

Aim: To summarise the emerging technologies in the development of artificial ocular devices. 

Methods: The search methodology comprised seven databases for articles published between January 2000 and March 2017. Outcome data were analysed descriptively with results summarised in a Microsoft Excel database. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used, and the main findings are discussed in a narrative format. 

Results: Eighty-nine full-text articles were included in this systematic review. 

Conclusion: The primary goal of these artificial devices is to provide functional vision in order to perform normal daily activities. Even though recent clinical trials in certain countries have shown advances in the development of various vision-restoring devices, they do not produce the same experience for the majority of patients and are unable to completely restore normal vision. The most common type of device according to its placement is the epiretinal device which is also the most successful device as determined in the majority of clinical trials.

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