The ICVP team includes researchers from seven institutions: Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas - Dallas, the Chicago Lighthouse, MicroProbes for Life Science, and Sigenics, Inc.
Dr. Philip Troyk, Sigenics’s CEO and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at IIT, and the other members of the ICVP team, have been working on the ICVP project since 2000 towards the goal of helping visually-impaired persons re-gain the sense of sight. Sigenics is providing the implanted and external custom-designed electronics necessary for the testing of the ICVP system in a clinical trial.
The ICVP may provide the user with meaningful artificial visual perception through the use of electrical stimulation of the visual cortex of the brain. After surgical implantation into the brain, a collection of 16-channel stimulator modules, called wireless-floating-microelectrode-arrays (WFMA) use Sigenics-designed wireless electronics that control stimulation through miniature needle-like electrodes; the electrodes are small enough so that about five electrode tips could be placed at the end of a human hair. The Sigenics team has also developed the non-implanted hardware that will process an image captured by a camera for communication to the brain. The system concept can be seen in the infographic below.