Macular degeneration is the deterioration of cones in the fovea of the eye and a small area that surrounds it. This causes a blind spot in the central region of our vision, so when we look directly at something we lose sight of it. The video below discusses the potential to create a prosthetic device that will treat/cure blindness.
We see an image and our photo receptors pick that up, the rods and cones in our retina extract information and transforms it into a code. These codes are electrical pulses that are transported to our brain. Macular degeneration causes the cells in the photo receptors to die, as well as the cones that are used to transport that coded message to our brain. The prosthetic is made up of two parts, a encoder and a transducer. The encoder mimics the photo receptors, encoding images into algorithms. The transducer then sends that coding to our brain they way it would work if macular degeneration was not a factor. This is only the beginning stages of what could turn out to potentially help millions in the world who suffer from blindness.
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