Scientists at Newcastle University in the UK say they’ve created the first 3D-printed human corneas. Using a combination of their unique “bio-ink” and cornea stem cells, they can print the corneas in under ten minutes.
If their methods gain medical approval, 3D-printed corneas could greatly benefit the millions of people in need of corneal transplants and those suffering from vision impairment due to corneal injury.
The cornea is the eye’s outermost lens, protecting it from harmful matter as well as providing a majority of the eye’s focusing power. Corneas are resilient, but injury can cause pain and vision impairment. The infectious eye disorder Trachoma can also affect the cornea, causing blindness.