14 June 2011

Regenerating the Ear and the Eye

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Repairing a defective ear or even an eye is no longer science fiction. Nano-technology can help to make medical history.

Finnish researchers have designed tiny nano-particles which can deliver a specific drug to cells of the inner ear. Once brought into position, this drug helps to repair damaged cells. As a result people with hearing loss have experienced a significant improvement of their condition.

In France, nanotechnology is used to help blind people with a new generation of artificial retinal prostheses. Scientists have created synthetic diamond crystals and implant them on the retina of the patient. The diamond can stimulate the retina and compensate the damaged photoreceptors. The results are impressive, as Serge Picaud from the Inserm Institut de la Vision in Paris points out: “A patient who was blind can now see letters and read small words. That’s pretty exceptional!”
 

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