CERA

Science and Research

Bionic eye and vitreoretinal research

Our world-leading projects strive to help patients with end-stage inherited retinal disease navigate the world. We also work to develop better treatments for acute retinal causes of blindness, reducing their impact on patients’ lives.

Overview

The bionic eye team at CERA has developed a next-generation bionic eye implant that gives patients with inherited retinal disease a ‘sense of sight’ – lights and flashes that help them navigate spaces independently.

This suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis is now in trial and has been implanted in four patients, who are using the device at home. This is an exciting project and further retinal prosthesis development is ongoing.

Working with our collaborators at the Bionics Institute, our researchers are also developing a neuroprotective device aimed at slowing down the progression of retinal disease.

Other key areas of research include vitreoretinal surgical projects and clinical treatment trials for retinal dystrophies and age-related macular degeneration, in collaboration with the Macular Research and Gene Therapy teams.

We are also investigating endophthalmitis, with projects such as the Victorian Endophthalmitis Registry, which looks for trends in disease and aims to improve outcomes from this blinding condition.

Why this research is important

Our patients have blinding eye disease. Their vision loss is either slowly progressive due to inherited retinal disease, or acute due to retinal detachment or severe infection such as example endophthalmitis.

Our work aims to aid navigation in patients with end stage inherited retinal disease, and to develop better treatments for the acute retinal causes of blindness, reducing their impact.

Key research questions

  • Does use of a retinal prosthesis at home result in better outcomes for patients?
  • Can we delay photoreceptor loss in retinal dystrophy?
  • Can we improve visual outcomes for patients with endophthalmitis?
  • Are some patients at risk for endophthalmitis?
  • Can we improve outcomes for retinal detachments patients?