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An Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Artificial Eyelid

Illustration for article titled An Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Artificial Eyelid

Have trouble blinking? Your troubles may soon be over.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis Medical Center have been working on an artificial eyelid muscle, using research from Palo Alto's SRI International.

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Electronic impulses coming from a tiny battery driving an artificial muscle would allow stroke victims and others to restore their blinking.

According to MedGadget:

For patients who have one functioning eyelid, a sensor wire threaded over the normal eyelid could detect the natural blink impulse and fire the artificial muscle at the same time. Among patients lacking control of either eyelid, an electronic pacemaker similar to those used to regulate heartbeats could blink the eye at a steady rate, and be deactivated by a magnetic switch.

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Here's the full report from MedGadget.

Needless to say, a lot of the research was done with cadavers.

Researchers predict the technology will be ready to use "within the next five years."

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DISCUSSION

I can imagine all sorts of bizarre things to do with this tech. Is it open source? I'd like to blink one eye, then the other after a 500ms delay. How weird would that be? Or have one eye continuously blink. Or take a nap with my eyes open. Now that would be useful.