Document Detail

Special issue containing contributions from the Sixth Biennial Research Congress of The Eye and the Chip.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21593548     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Once again Journal of Neural Engineering is devoting an issue to the field of visual neuro-prosthetics. These papers were presented at the Sixth Biennial Research Congress of The Eye and the Chip, held in Detroit in September 2010. In the last decade this field has metamorphosed from 'in all probability a foolish and impractical dream' to a device approved for implantation in Europe and pending approval in the United States, and from a handful of serious efforts to several dozen on every continent save for Antartica. A recent comprehensive volume, Visual Prosthetics [1], edited by Gislin Dagnelie of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, focuses closely on this subject and is a tremendous addition to the literature. In his preface Dr Dagnelie notes as follows. 'In the year 2000, the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology had the inspiration to foster a new collaboration among visual prosthesis researchers, clinicians, and workers in low vision rehabilitation by creating and sponsoring a series of biennial meetings called 'The Eye and the Chip'. Successful beyond expectations, these meetings have become the premier gathering place for researchers from all parts of the world and from very different backgrounds. Invited speakers are scientists who are advancing the field, yet the scale and atmosphere allow all researchers, patients, and the media to come and be updated about progress over the past two years. More perhaps than at other scientific meetings, where investigators tend to gather within disciplines, participants at The Eye and the Chip are challenged to be open-minded, learn about and critique each other's work, and return home with fresh ideas for interdisciplinary approaches. The interdisciplinary character of this book reflects that same spirit.' A letter to us from our co-organizer of The Eye and the Chip, Joseph Rizzo MD, Harvard Medical School, furthers the point that the Research Congress Model is productive. This model is based on a belief that collegiality enhances collaboration and that collaboration accelerates progress. 'At the time of our first The Eye and the Chip meeting, now many years ago, the field of visual prosthetics was still in its infancy. The research community generally held a very skeptical attitude about the possible use of a bio-electronic implant to restore vision, despite the great success of cochlear implants. Over the last two decades our field has matured dramatically, and now there is widespread optimism about the potential for visual implants to help patients who are blind. 'The marked improvement in our status as a field is the result of excellent research from a large critical mass of scientists from throughout the world. It is the general opinion of researchers in our field that The Eye and the Chip meeting has provided the most vibrant source of scientific exchange for our field. The reasons for the success of this meeting relate to the fact that the meeting is devoted to a single topic, it is all-inclusive (anyone who is performing credible research in the field is invited to participate) and it provides a very substantial amount of time for open group discussions. These attributes expand the length of the meeting, which I understand increases the cost of the meeting, but the benefits have been remarkable for our field. Simply stated, The Eye and the Chip meeting provides the best venue for scientific and academic exchange in the world for the field of visual prosthetics.' And, furthermore, following a rather spirited discussion on the end points to be used in evaluating these devices on the third and final day of The Eye and the Chip last September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the leadership of the US National Eye Institute (NEI), held a fine one-day Congress, 'End Points' in Washington in early May. We, as leaders of The Eye and the Chip, are hopeful that the FDA will continue its meeting in the off-years between The Eye and the Chip research congresses. The field is now so important that an annual meeting exclusively devoted to the subject, especially if Journal of Neural Engineering continues to cover this important work, will not be excessive. References [1] Dagnelie G (ed) 2011 Visual Prosthetics (New York: Springer).
Philip C Hessburg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-5-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neural engineering     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1741-2552     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-5-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101217933     Medline TA:  J Neural Eng     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  030201     Citation Subset:  -    
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