Eyes are our window on the world, but for researchers hoping to discover the secrets behind how they work, they’re a window made of one-way glass. Much of our understanding of how the eye and brain interact comes from dissections of removed eyes, which can only tell you so much. A new approach uses a tiny injectable mesh of electronics (pictured in place in a mouse eye) to directly monitor activity in a healthy eye. The mesh settles, conforming to contours at the back of the eye (retina), and interfaces with individual cells without impairing vision or movement. Tiny sensors then record activity for up to two weeks, allowing researchers to track detailed patterns of cell activity. The technique has already revealed new information about how our eyes behave at different times of day, and researchers hope it could open a window on everything from glaucoma to vision-restoring prosthetics.
Written by Anthony Lewis
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