Nanoparticles will give us super vision - but the procedure will not be easy

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine developed what they called "ocular injectable nanoparticles." They modify the photoreceptors in the eyes to enable them to respond to radiation outside the visible spectrum. For example, experimental mice began to distinguish objects in infrared light.

The nanoparticles contain two rare earth elements, erbium and ytterbium. They can convert radiation energy by turning infrared light into visible green. Green eyes of mice can already see, so if such nanoparticles are applied directly to photoreceptors, animals gain the ability to react to light previously invisible to them.

To test the technology, scientists built a labyrinth, where there were several ditches on the way to the exit. Only one of them was bridged and the tunnel leading to this moat was marked with a green mark. The mice were trained to recognize the mark and take an easy route. They were then injected with nanoparticles and replaced the label with an analog that is visible only in infrared light. Rodents with normal vision began to make mistakes, and with modified vision, they recognized the mark and confidently walked towards the exit.

Experiments have shown that the effect of this extraordinary vision lasts up to 10 days after each injection. But it is precisely to introduce nanoparticles into the structure of the eye, the option with an external film did not give a result. This means that you can not count on the appearance of contact lenses or compact glasses based on such technology. And the need for regular injections into your own eyes can scare off almost anyone from the procedure.