Argus II

epiretinal

>500 implanted

inactive

Argus II is a second-generation retinal prosthesis system that combines an epiretinal implant and a patient-worn camera in order to help vision in patients with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa.

Milestones

  • 2011: First patient implanted
  • 2011: CE mark approval
  • 2013: FDA approval
  • 2019: End of production

Background

Argus II consists of three external components and three internal components. The three internal components are the coil, a ribbon of cables that connect the coil to a circuit, and an electrode array of 60 electrodes that is in direct contact with the retina. The three external components are a video camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a visual processing unit (VPU) placed on the patient's belt, and a coil on the glasses used to convey information between the internal and external components.

The surgery to implant Argus II takes a few hours and involves placing a small electronic device in and around the back of the eye, on the patient's retina. The patient then wears a camera that is mounted on a pair of glasses and a portable VPU. Images are processed by the camera and then sent to the implant in the retina, which stimulates the retinal cells. The retinal cells send signals to the brain, which interprets these signals as light. Over time, the patient learns to interpret the signals from the Argus II to better visualize their surroundings. With Argus II, patients with retinitis pigmentosa are able to distinguish and interpret light patterns, recognize outlines of people, basic shapes, and movement, and navigate the world more independently.

Device Specifications

  • Number of electrodes: 60
  • Electrode layout: 6x10
  • Electrode diameter: 225 μm
  • Electrode pitch: 575 μm
  • Image processor location: external

Clinical Trials