London: Scientists have developed a tiny device designed to restore sight to the blind instantly - without bulky glasses or computer equipment.
The `Bio Retina` will be implanted under local anaesthetic, and will offer black-and-white vision similar to a computer monitor.
The implant`s effects will be enough to allow users to watch television and identify faces.
A prototype was made in 2011, and clinical trials are due to begin in 2013.
The device is specifically tailored to restore sight to patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
“Bio-Retina incorporates various nano-size components in one tiny, flat implant, approximating the size of a child`s fingernail,” the Daily Mail quoted Nano-Retina, the company that manufactures the device, as saying.
“Its simple 30-minute implant procedure requires local anesthesia, a small incision and `gluing` of the device to the damaged retina,” the company noted.
“Return of sight is anticipated to be instantaneous. Recovery time is estimated at up to one week,” it added.
Other implants are already on sale and in use in the UK and elsewhere, but most require bulky computer glasses, and operations under general anaesthetic.