Selasa, 08 Maret 2011

Mata Bionik Rp1 Miliar



Ilustrasi Mata bionik (Corbis)


Setelah melalui dua dekade masa riset dan pengembangan, sebuah perusahaan berhasil membuat sebuah alat mata bionik bagi orang-orang yang mengalami kebutaan akibat kerusakan degeneratif.
"Penemuan ini menandai awal dari era di mana penglihatan bisa dipulihkan ke level yang lebih menakjubkan," ujar Robert Greenberg, President dan CEO Second Sight, perusahaan asal California yang mengembangkan alat ini.
Seperti dikutip dari situs Technology Review, alat yang dinamakan Argus itu dijual seharga US$115 ribu alias sekitar Rp1 miliar. Alat ini dilengkapi dengan sebuah kamera yang dipasang di kaca mata dan sebuah implan yang ditanam di dekat retina pasien.
Kamera akan memancarkan sinyal citra kepada chip implan itu sehingga akan menstimulasi sel-sel retina dan memproduksi cahaya pada pandangan mata pasien.
Alat ini akan membantu orang-orang yang menderita retinitis pigmentosa, atau cacat penglihatan akibat kerusakan photoreseptor atau bagian mata yang menangkap cahaya. 
Untuk saat ini Argus II yang menggunakan 60 elektroda pada implannya, sehingga hanya bisa mengembalikan penglihatan secara terbatas.
"Pasien bisa memetakan dan mengenali obyek yang sederhana, seperti melihat orang di depan mereka, dan mengikuti arah gerakan," ujar Greenberg. 
Selain itu, diharapkan pasien juga bisa mengenali pintu, jendela, mengikuti garis, atau membaca tulisan yang besar, secara perlahan.
Bagaimanapun, menurut Direktur Institute for Ophtalmic Research Universitas Tubingen Jerman, Eberhart Zrenner, penglihatan bionik yang disediakan oleh Argus II merupakan pencapaian penting.
Namun, Zrenner, yang juga mendirikan perusahaan Retinal Implants AG, mengaku tengah mengembangkan alat yang serupa. Namun, menggunakan lebih dari 1500 elektroda dengan memanfaatkan fotodioda sensitif cahaya, ketimbang menggunakan kamera. 
Keunggulan Argus II ini adalah implan bisa lebih lama ditanam di dalam tubuh. Alat ini telah diujikan kepada 30 pasien. "Kami telah melakukan hal yang sebelumnya dianggap mustahil," kata Greenberg.

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