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  • Dr. Steven Kirkham

The makers of a new retinal implant say they need a far better location: outer space.

Makers of various product often search for the perfect location for manufacturing, but the makers of a new retinal implant say they need a far better location: outer space. LambdaVision’s retinal implant is a 60-micron think film coated with a light-activated protein called bacteriorhodopsin that could replace natural photoreceptor cells of the damaged retina in patients. Manufacturing the delicate film in zero-gravity conditions may prevent issues that plague the process here on Earth, so the implant’s building blocks are currently en route to the International Space Station, where scientists may potentially produce such an implant they cannot produce here.

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