IN THE KNOW – Synthetic Eyes

Eye viewing digital information represented by circles and signs

Sci-fi fantasies of decades past are coming to life at an exponential rate these days. The intricate complexity of the human eye defies comprehension, even Darwin called their evolution “absurd.” As amazing as our eyes are, they are not perfect.  Diminished performance, susceptibility to infection and exposure to bright lights makes our eyes fragile. Italian biotech startup MHOX is attempting to improve on the human eye with an ambitious project: to create synthetic eye replacements.

Enhance Your Eye (EYE, of course) are created from a 3D bioprinter, which uses a special needle to drop different types of cells into the appropriate alignment and structure. The basic synthetic eye works like a natural one and could serve as a replacement for people who might be blinded by diseases or traumas. EYE Enhance seeks to improve the eye’s natural functions by improving vision to 15/20 and enabling filters on vision like those on photo apps (such as vintage, black and white). A user would consume a pill to activate or change a filter. The third type, Advance, has additional glands to capture or record what a person is seeing, as well as a Wi-Fi connection to share those images.

In order to use an EYE system, people would need to get their natural eyes surgically removed and replaced with the Deck, a sort of artificial retina that connects to the brain and would allow users to plug in different eyeballs at will. The designers behind EYE predict the product will be available early 2027

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