Newcastle University Scientists Create First Ever 3D-Printed Human Corneas

June 1, 2018: By Jon Swedien

Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK have made the first human corneas created with a 3D printer, according to a university news release.

The researchers mixed stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, the university said. Scientists dubbed it a “bio-ink.”

Researchers then used a low-cost 3D bio-printer to successfully extrude the bio-ink in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea. It took less than 10 minutes to print, the university said.

The researchers also showed that they could build a cornea to match a patient’s unique specifications, the university said.

Dimensions of the printed tissue were originally taken from an actual cornea, and by scanning a patient’s eye, researchers used the data to rapidly print a cornea that matched the size and shape of the actual cornea.

In the future, the technique could be used to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas, the university said.

According to the university, there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant and 10 million people worldwide who require surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of disease; an additional 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion, or disease.

Che Connon, professor of tissue engineering at Newcastle, led the work.

The research highlights the progress that has been made toward reducing the need for donor corneas, said Neil Ebenezer, MD, director of research, policy, and innovation at Fight for Sight. He added, however, that it will be years before the technology is available to patients.

Need Deeper Analysis? Sign up for Market Scope's monthly newsletter to get in-depth coverage of the ophthalmic market, including quarterly procedure volumes based on survey data and meeting coverage from around the world.

Recent Ophthalmic News

US Health Secretary Alex Azar Takes Aim at Rebates in US Senate Hearing

Beyeonics Surgical Raises $11.5 Million in Initial Funding Round

MeiraGTx Raises $75 Million in Initial Public Offering

GenSight to Pursue Approval for LHON Gene Therapy Candidate, Despite Phase III Setback

Optovue Receives FDA Clearance for AngioAnalytics, First OCT Angiography Metrics

Nexy Robotic Retinal Imaging System Receives FDA Clearance

Ocutrx Receives US Patent for Oculenz AR Glasses for Macular Degeneration

Allergan’s Bimatoprost SR Demonstrates Noninferiority to Timolol in Phase III Glaucoma Study

KKR to acquire Envision Healthcare, Including Amsurg ASC Business

Ophthalmologist Carmen Puliafito, MD, Seeks to Regain Medical License

Avedro Gains J Code for Photrexa Formulations in Preliminary CMS Decision

EyeGate Seeks to Study Ocular Bandage Gel in Punctate Epitheliopathy

Nicox, Ironwood to Collaborate on Novel Ophthalmic Treatments

US FDA Approves MDGH’s Moxidectin for Treatment of River Blindness

Bausch + Lomb Enrolls First Patient in Trial for enVista MX60EF Trifocal IOL

Cincinnati Eye Institute Partners with Private Equity Firm to Pursue National Expansion

Ophthotech Enters Gene Therapy Deals with University of Florida, University of Pennsylvania

Teva’s Launches Generic Version of Restasis in Canada

Clearside’s Phase II Trial for DME Candidate Meets Primary Endpoint

Orasis Raises $13 Million in Series B Financing

Coming soon

2018 Glaucoma Device Report: A Global Market Analysis for 2017 to 2023