04/29/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Bionic Eye" Operations Successful In Britain

Surgeons in Britain have offered hope to blind people everywhere after successfully implanting "bionic eyes" into two blind patients:

Surgeons have carried out the first operations in Britain using a pioneering "bionic eye" that could in future help to restore the sight of the blind.

Two successful operations to implant the artificial electronic device into the eyes of two blind patients were conducted last week at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, it emerged today.

The device -- the first of its kind in the world -- incorporates a video camera and transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses.

This is linked to an artificial retina, which transmits moving images along the optic nerve to the brain, and enables a patient to discriminate rudimentary images of motion, light and dark.

The BBC previously reported on U.S. and German scientists designing a "bionic eye," but the operations in Britain are the first successful implementations of such a device.