Implantation of the chip is largely comparable to standard vitreous or retinal surgery, as performed in cases of complicated retinal detachment or lesions.
Once the subdermal cable has been put in place from a small skin incision behind the ear, a small opening with a flap is made laterally near the equator of the eye; subsequently a small incision is made into the choroid following several measures to insure that no bleeding occurs. The chip is then carefully advanced through these openings together with the tiny powerline under the retina until it reaches its destination near the fovea. Subsequently all incisions are closed again. Surgery takes place under general anesthesia.
The chip is capable of taking over the function of the light sensitive cells (photoreceptors) which have perished in degenerative retinal diseases. The implant is placed onto that retinal layer where light sensitive cells are present in healthy persons, thus making use of the remaining natural information processing channels of the retina. Figure 2 shows the implant's location on the retina.
Figure 2 Fundus photograph: Location of the subretinal implant beneath the retina.