The Bionic Eye: A Quarter Century of Retinal Prosthesis Research and Development

Mark S. Humayun, Eugene de Juan, Gislin Dagnelie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes the history of visual prostheses, with emphasis on the development of the Argus II retinal prosthesis system (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Sylmar, CA). A brief overview of cortical electrical stimulation in the blind is provided, followed by an account of the design and development of retinal stimulation equipment at the Duke Eye Center in the late 1980s; the first human intraoperative tests there and the subsequent 8 years of tests at the Wilmer Eye Institute; the transfer of the project to the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California and the founding of Second Sight Medical Products; and the development and clinical trials of the Argus I and Argus II systems. In a series of vignettes, we pay tribute to the many colleagues and patient volunteers without whose help the work would not have been possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S89-S97
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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