Many people who have lost their sight due to disease could find nanoscale light sensors come to their rescue in the future.
The Eyecare Trust's chairman Dharmesh Patel comments on implantable light sensors developed in Germany at the University of Tuebingen.
When trialled on human patients, the implants were able to restore sight, in some cases to a degree sufficient for the individual to once again read letters.
"These early results are very encouraging and we look forward to seeing the results of future trials," says Mr Patel.
"Developments in nanotechnology can improve the quality of life of millions of people," he adds.
The implants could ultimately be able to restore sight loss caused by a variety of different conditions.
Among them, Mr Patel lists macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and any disease or injury capable of damaging the eye's own photoreceptors, a delicate component in the process by which humans see.