Researchers develop 3D printed artificial cornea

Tags: Science and Technology

A team of researchers from Hyderabad have successfully 3D-printed an artificial cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit eye for the first time in the country.

Important facts

  • This 3D printed cornea has been made by scientists from LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), IIT Hyderabad (IITH) and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

  • This cornea is made from the corneal tissue of the human eye.

  • This cornea has been completely made by the country's scientists with indigenous technology.

  • It does not contain any synthetic components and can be applied to patients as well.

How was the 3D cornea made?

  • Scientists have created a biomimetic hydrogel by extracting decellularized corneal tissue and stem cells from the human eye.

  • Scientists have said that this 3D printed cornea has been prepared from the corneal tissue of the human eye, so it is completely biocompatible and natural.

  • This will be helpful in treating diseases like corneal scarring (in which the cornea becomes opaque) and keratoconus (in which the cornea becomes thin).

  • Many times the cornea of army soldiers gets damaged due to injury, in such a situation the light of those soldiers can be brought back with 3D printed cornea.

What is Cornea?

  • The cornea is the transparent part of the eye that covers the front of the eye.

  • It covers the pupil (the centre of the eye), iris (the colored part of the eye), and anterior chamber (the fluid-filled inside of the eye). 

  • The main function of the cornea is to refract or bend light.

  • The cornea is responsible for focusing most of the light that enters the eye.

What is 3D Printing?

  • 3D printing uses computer aided design (CAD) to create three-dimensional objects through the layering method.

  • The model to be printed with the help of software is first developed by the computer, which then instructs the 3D printer.

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