After spending 13 long years in complete darkness, a blind woman in Russia got her eyesight back with the help of a novel bionic eye.
Antonina Zakharchenko's vision was impaired since childhood and kept getting worse until she lost her sight completely, Russia Beyond reported, citing a local news website.
Several variants of the tech, dubbed visual prosthesis, have been tested for restoring vision in different parts of the world, but the version used in Russia looks pretty much identical to a standard pair of sunglasses.
The glasses have a camera, which takes images and relays them to a chip implanted in the central part of the retina. The images are then converted into visual imagery by the brain, restoring the ability to see.
"This is an American technology developed over the past 10 years," said Khristo Takhchidi, the surgeon who led the team that implanted the bionic eye. Though Zakharchenko can see now, Takhchidi stressed on the fact that her vision has only been partially restored and she won't be able to see things like all of us do.
"During the operation, the chip is implanted in the macula, a central area of the retina, and the patient is able to see a pixel image," the surgeon said. "Unlike the multi-pixel image, however, a patient will see a light pattern that's far less vivid."
The $140,000 (£105,000) surgery was financed by multiple charities, medical institutions and commercial foundations.
Bionic eye technology is still at a nascent stage with clinical trials underway. This was only the second such surgery to have been performed in Russia.