Steve Swioklo and Che Connon of Newcastle University in the U.K. have officially pushed the envelope in the 3D printing industry by developing an artificial cornea.
But not just any artificial cornea…
By utilizing human cells the scientists successfully 3D printed the most advanced version of an artificial cornea to date, a development that has revolutionary potential for people struggling to see.
A jelly-like goo called alginate, stem cells extracted from donor corneas, along with some ropy proteins called collagen, were added together in order to create a bio-ink thin enough and sturdy enough to work as a 3D structure.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5 million people around the world are blind due to infection scarring their corneas.
This new technique has the ability to take cells from one donated cornea and print 50 artificial ones — a technology that could have massive implications moving forward into the future.
At the moment, the technique still has a ways to go, including animal testing. But researchers have proved materials in the shape of corneas can and will be 3D printed.