Who knew that corneas could be created by scientists? This is not science fiction – it is actually a real result by researchers at Newcastle University in the UK. According to an article in Experimental Eye Research which was shared by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there is a shortage of donor corneas. To address this shortage, researchers developed a 3D printer loaded with a unique bio-ink to print tissue from live stem cells.
The research team was led by Che Connor, PhD. The teams’ first challenge was to create the bio-ink. The next step was to find a 3D printer to print the ink in circles. Therefore the bio-ink had to be soft enough and to get through the nozzle of the printer yet firm enough to hold its shape once printed.
The article notes it will be several years before this product is cleared for human transplant. However, how exciting it is to know that the chronic donor shortage will not need to prevent future individuals from better eyesight.
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