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Introduction

In Germany alone there live roughly 130,000 blind persons. About one quarter of these persons became blind as a result of a degenerative retinal disease. Until today there exists no product that is able to restore the sight of persons who became blind as a result of retinal degenerations like Retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macula degeneration.

Retina Implant AG was founded early in 2003 in Tübingen and is developing a technology that is based on numerous earlier animal experiments and should be possible to restore sight at least partially in a good number of blind persons.

The basis of this technology hat been developed since 1995 by a consortium of well-known university hospitals nad institutes. Retina Implant AG is an offshoot of this consortium made up of the university Eye Hospitals of Tübingen and of Regensburg, the Naturwissenschaftliche und Medizinische Institut at the University of Tübingen (NMI), the Institute for Microelectronics Stuttgart (IMS) and the Institute for Physical Electronics at the University of Stuttgart.

The first use of implants in eight completely blind patients is scheduled for 2005 within a clinical trial series.

For blind internet users there are barrier-free articles about the current research status available for download as PDF files.