Technology June 1, 2018
3D printed human corneas hold the potential to combat blindness
Across the world, human corneas are available in limited quantities, which limits the number of corneal implants that can be done. Now, this could change thanks to new research.
The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye. It needs to be replaced in people with corneal blindness. However, the huge shortage of eye donors puts restrictions on the number of corneal implants that can take place.
Researchers at the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have found a solution. They have printed human corneas using 3D printers.
This could change the lives of thousands of people as 3D-printed human corneas can be used for patients with vision loss due to corneal diseases like trachoma.
Data shows that there are around 10 million people in the world who need corneal implants to prevent blindness.
The artificial corneas have been made using donor cornea stem cells mixed with collagen to form a printable solution or gel. This is then fed to to a 3D printer to print out a cornea.
The research could mean an unlimited supply of corneas and hope for those with corneal defects.
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