3D Printed Corneas to Help People See - Tips On Live

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August 3, 2018

3D Printed Corneas to Help People See

Millions in the world suffer from corneal blindness and total blindness due to burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease. Just imagine if you could artificially create a cornea that would help cure blindness. That would be something, won’t it? This could be a reality sooner than you think. Scientists have 3D printed the most advanced 3D cornea there is. With a little more effort, this 3D printed cornea can help millions see!

The cornea makes up the eye’ outermost layer. It plays a major role in helping people to see. The cornea protects the eye against germs, dirt and other particles that could cause harm to the eye. So cornea along with the eyelids and eye socket form the security force that protects the eye. The cornea has the ability to heal itself from minor injuries. Major injuries will cause corneal scarring which results in vision impairment.

Scientists from Newcastle University developed a bio-ink that helped them to print the 3-D corneas. The bio-ink is made from alginate and collagen mixed with human corneal stromal cells to make an artificial living cornea. This could mean that a single donor can help more than one person! ‘It was tricky to find the right recipe for an ink that’s thin enough to squirt through a 3D printer’s nozzle’, says Che Connon, a tissue engineer at Newcastle University involved in the creation of the artificial cornea. The corneas take around 10 minutes to print using a 3D printer and the alginate and collagen gel can keep the stem cell alive for days.  The entire technique used in the development of the #d printed corneas is recorded in this journal

This could be a major breakthrough, if these corneas are developed into fully-fledged ones. As of now, these cannot be used to help people now but the findings made by the Scientists at Newcastle University can help make this a reality soon.  

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