Diamonds used to enhance hi-tech bionic eye

Scientists in Australia are using diamonds to develop one of the world's most advanced bionic eyes.

Nine News reports that Australian scientists are using artificial diamonds to coat a high acuity 256-electrode prototype in order to better enhance its performance.

The bionic eye is encased in a diamond box which prevents moisture from infiltrating the device as well as harmful materials from contaminating the user's body.

Dr Hamish Meffin of research center NICTA says that diamond is the ideal encapsulation material for the bionic device because of its durability and lack of chemical reactivity, which make it unlikely to trigger an adverse reaction in patients.

The 256-electrode device is the prototype for a far more sophisticated 1024-electrode version which will enable users to see via the connection of the electrodes to a minute three-by-three millimeter electronic chip inserted into the device.

The prototype is being developed by Bionic Vision Australia and will undergo safety tests over the next year.