The Foundry Journal

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The Foundry Journal

Lab Grown Diamonds Help Create Bionic Eye

August 1, 2015

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Diamond Industry

Lab Grown Diamonds Help Create Bionic Eye

August 1, 2015 BY Alon Ben-Shoshan IN Diamonds & Technology

We’re living in the future, ya’ll! Scientists are using lab grown diamonds to help give people with blindness a “second sight” by inserting small, plastic devices into their eyes. 

Why Lab Grown Diamonds

In order to stimulate the retina of a human eye,  scientists needed to find a very special material that could fulfill the following requirements.

  • mechanically durable
  • biocompatible 
  • chemically inert
  • has a electrically conductive core
  • has high thermal conductivity
  • has high charge injection capacity

Speaker Steven Prawer explains that such a material is remarkably hard to find. However, lab grown diamonds soon proved to be an ideal candidate. The team realized that if they grew their own diamonds in reactors, which Prawer describes as “no more complicated in theory than your microwave oven,” that they could form a durable, sustainable material to use as a conductor in bionic eyes.

Keep an eye out for a very good overview of CVD diamond starting at minute 21!

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