The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System ("Argus II") is the world's first approved device intended to restore some functional vision for people suffering from blindness. Argus II is approved for use in the United States and the European Economic Area. It was approved in Iran in June 2017 and Argus II was implanted for first time in Shiraz in November 2017.
The Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System ("Argus II") is also known as the bionic eye or the retinal implant.It is intended to provide electrical stimulation of the retina to induce visual perception in blind individuals. It is indicated for use in patients with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa.
A miniature video camera housed in the patient's glasses captures a scene. The video is sent to a small patient-worn computer (i.e., the video processing unit – VPU) where it is processed and transformed into instructions that are sent back to the glasses via a cable. These instructions are transmitted wirelessly to an antenna in the retinal implant. The signals are then sent to the electrode array, which emits small pulses of electricity. These pulses bypass the damaged photoreceptors and stimulate the retina's remaining cells, which transmit the visual information along the optic nerve to the brain, creating the perception of patterns of light. Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns with their retinal implant.