Published: 14 February 2024

Could ‘printable retinas’ help restore colour vision?

Tiny solar panels at the back of the eye could help patients recover from sight loss, according to research from the University of Surrey. For the first time, scientists at Surrey have used high-performance organic semiconductors, which could one day restore colour vision. 

Age-related macular degeneration is the UK’s biggest cause of sight loss, and for most sufferers, there is no treatment. One idea to change that is to insert a tiny ‘solar panel’ at the back of the eye. Surrey researchers have demonstrated that new materials could do the job – while being cheaper and more flexible than alternatives. 

The findings are patent-pending, and it is now hoped they can be used to design an artificial retina to help patients suffering from retinal disease. 

Dr Askew’s study is available on an open access basis, and helps promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 (good health and well-being) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).