During his time as an assistant professor at Princeton University, the team led by Michael McAlpine successfully used 3D printing technology to print bionic ears. Now he is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, and once again tries to use 3D printing technology to create bionic eyes, which is expected to benefit mankind in the future. The new team led by McAlpine began printing on the inner surface of a glass that simulates the size of the human eye. The printed ink is equipped with silver particles and then added to the printed semi-polymer layer.
Through 3D printed photodiodes, optical information can be converted to current, and the conversion efficiency is 25% at this stage. McAlpine's team is currently trying to increase the conversion rate and integrate more photodiodes onto this glass surface. McAlpine hopes Through this technology to create a full-featured bionic eye, by stimulating the optic nerve to perceive the light source, thereby restoring the vision of patients with visual impairment.
Detailed technical details and paper content can be found in the Advanced Materials journal. The following videos can be viewed in the 3D printing process: