Researchers fine-tune 3D printing technology to fabricate better biomimetic corneas – and predict a “breakthrough” in transplantation practice around the world.
Jonathan James | | Quick Read
Corneal diseases are responsible for around 5 percent of blindness worldwide, but a shortage of corneas suitable for transplantation, particularly in the developing world, leaves patients waiting an average of five years for surgery (1). As a consequence, research teams around the world are in competition to develop artificial corneas that are suitable for mass production. Could 3D printing win the race?
Dongwoo Cho, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea certainly believes so. “Many artificial corneas and associated studies are based on synthetic biocompatible materials, yet studies have reported severe side effects,” says Cho. “To overcome such limitations, we have developed tissue-engineered corneas with 3D cell printing technology (2, 3).”
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