Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK have created a human cornea through a 3D printer for the first time, fossbytes.com reports.
The work was published in the journal Experimental Eye Research.
Scientists had to create an ink thin enough to be pushed through a 3D printer’s nozzle. To do this, they combined human stem cells from a healthy donor with collagen and alginate – a gooey substance obtained from algae to produce “bio-ink” for the printer.
It took less than six minutes for the device to print off a model of the cornea based on a scan of a human eye. After printing, the stem cells were added and left to grow to around the structure created by alginate and collagen, resulting in the first 3D printed human cornea.
The artificially created corneas still face many regulatory steps before they can be transplanted into the human eye.
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