Scientists print first 3D Human Corneas 30 May 2018
01 June, 2018, 18:32 | Author: Veronica Peterson
By scanning the patient's eye, the scientists can 3D print a cornea that's the same size and shape of their own eye.
For transplantation, corneas are harvested within 24 hours from death by trained professionals and stored in eye banks.
As the protective, outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision. "Now we have a ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately", saidConnon. Corneas were printed to match the unique specifications of a patient. For this consistency, our research team combined stem cells extracted from donor corneas and alginate - jelly-like goo with collagen - ropy proteins, according to The Verge. A 3D printer is able to print the cornea in just 10 minutes. It is assumed that the use of these keratocytes should contribute to the reconstruction of the extracellular matrix of the cornea.
The structure also needs to be able to allow the growth of human corneal stromal (connective tissue) cells, taken from a donor. Their technique could eventually lead to a cornea mass-production system that could help the millions of people waiting for a transplant. Currently, there are 10 million people that require cornea transplant surgery to prevent blindness. World Health Organization reports that cornea infection is the reason why approximately 5 million people are blind around the world, today.
"This will have an impact particularly in the developing world where cornea eye banks are less common". This is the most sophisticated form of an artificial cornea yet. The team says that the 3D printed corneas must undergo further testing. Moreover, the United States researchers found the new method to develop soft robots with embedded touch sensing.
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To gauge the correct shape and dimensions of the printed eye part, the researchers first scanned the patient's eye.
Scientists developed a printing material is mainly composed of collagen and sodium alginate.
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