Dr. Gianluca Lazzi, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is part of an elite group of researchers recently honored with an R&D 100 Award for their work on an artificial retina that could one day restore sight to the blind. The awards, sponsored by R&D Magazine, recognize significant new technologies that exemplify the most innovative ideas of the year. Five national laboratories, four universities, and a private company have contributed to the research.
Lazzi, an internationally recognized authority on bioelectromagnetics and retinal prosthetics, serves as principal investigator of NC State’s work on the project, which involves electromagnetic and thermal modeling to help determine how much energy can be used to stimulate remaining nondiseased cells.
The Artificial Retina Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a collaborative, multi-institutional effort to develop an implantable microelectronic retinal prosthesis, or artificial retina, that restores useful vision to people blinded by retinal diseases. The ultimate goal of the project is to restore reading ability, facial recognition, and unaided mobility in people with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.