New Eye Drops for Human Night Vision
Posted on: May 13, 2015. Comments ( 1 )

Though a few nocturnal animals possess extended vision for seeking objects at night, common human beings did not possess the ability to see in the dark—technically, complete absence of visible light.

Recently, however, night vision for humans has been made possible, by virtue of the “ethics” of biohacking.

Simply put, biohacking is the hacking of biological systems in order to obtain information that can be scientifically manipulated to give humankind “super powers”. Inspired by a patent filed in 2012—claiming that a “solution” for extended vision to aid humans see better in low light is a possibility—the idea of night vision for humans is now a reality.

The magic ingredient of night vision eye drops is Ce6 (Chlorin e6), found in plants and in the eyes of certain deep-sea fish species. Previously, Ce6 was used in laser-assisted cancer treatment for its light-amplifying properties. Ce6 intensified the energy of low-power light sources, helping surgeons destroy tumor cells. As a development of this unique ability of Ce6, recent research has occasionally used this method to treat night blindness and other visual disturbances.

Taking this a step further, the California-based team of US researches who carried out this experiment, found 100 percent success rate each time in successive human tests, versus a 33 percent success rate for participants with normal vision. The eye drops—dripped directly over the eyes, aimed for the conjunctival sac to carry the chemical to the retina—enabled temporary night vision. 50 microliters—an extremely low dose—of the chemical preparation is dripped over the eyeballs using a micropipette while his eyes were stretched and held open with a speculum to guarantee absorption. For protection, the eyeballs must be covered with black contact lenses (to reduce potential light entering the eyes) and dark sunglasses (to protect the Ce6-induced hypersensitive eyes from exposure to bright light).

Prior to this procedure, the eyes are cleansed with saline solution to remove any foreign particles in the eye. Before administration, the Ce6 preparation is mixed with insulin—to achieve greater absorption of Ce6 into the chamber of the eyes (the aqueous humor and vitreous humor)—and Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)—to increase the permeability of the eye’s cellular membranes.

Ce6-induced temporary night vision was tested on two sets of participants: the test subjects—dripped with Ce6-based night vision eye drops—and the control subjects—with normal vision. After the drops were administered, it took two hours for the eyes to adjust to night vision. The participants were asked to identify –

  • different symbols on varying background colors at a distance of 10 meters
  • moving symbols with varying background colors at varying distances
  • a number of individuals located in a small grove of trees with a laser pointer

Each individual was positioned 25-50 meters away from the participants‘ observation point. With the help of the Ce6-based eye drops, the test subject was consistently able to recognize symbols that the controls were unable to see. When identifying the individuals in the dark wooded area, the test subjects had a 100% success rate versus the control participants’ 33% success rate.

Comments (1)


    Muralidhar Yalla says:

    Good to know this, yes we are making progress and any research for improving eye visibility is a bliss.

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