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Dec. 5, 2002
Victoria Steiner                                                                          
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.                           
Phone: 650/604-0176 or 650/604-9000
E-mail: vsteiner@mail.arc.nasa.gov



NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS:
News media representatives are invited to the Nanotechnology Vision Chip Showcase at NASA Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley. The event will take place in NASA Ames’ Moffett Training and Conference Center, Bldg. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST on Friday, Dec. 6. A NASA Ames scientist will discuss unique medical applications of nanotechnology. To gain access to the site, please present your picture ID and press credentials at the main gate.

RELEASE: 02-125AR
NASA TO SHOWCASE INNOVATIVE RESEARCH FOR TREATING BLINDNESS


A technology designed to restore vision in patients suffering from age-related blindness will be demonstrated by a scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley on Friday, Dec. 6. Organized by the Girvan Institute of Technology, a non-profit public benefit corporation located at the NASA Research Park (NRP), the demo will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST in Bldg. 3.

Developed by NASA Ames in conjunction with the Stanford University School of Medicine, the "Vision Chip" may help improve age-related macular degeneration, the number one cause of blindness in the elderly.

"Nanotechnology that could restore vision is an exciting example of how NASA science and engineering, origially intended for outer space, can return enormous dividends for everyday life here on Earth," said Dr. David J. Loftus, a member of both the Life Sciences Division and the Integrated Product Team on Devices and Nanotechnology at NASA Ames.

This device consists of an array of electrically conductive carbon nanotube (CNT) towers grown directly on the surface of a silicon chip. The CNT towers allow signals captured from a charge-coupled device (CCD) to be transmitted directly to the neural elements of the retina, potentially restoring vision.

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