Researchers use stem cells to 3D print the world's first human cornea

Scientists have 3D printed the world's first cornea in hopes of one day curing blindness for patients.

Published Tue, Feb 25 2020 3:08 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:44 AM CST

At the moment, 3D printing technology has an uncapped potential, and something to reinforce that fact is scientists successfully 3D printing the world's first cornea.

Researchers use stem cells to 3D print the world's first human cornea |

Researchers at Newcastle University, located in the United Kingdom, have recently published a new paper that details that they have successfully 3D printed the world's first cornea. The aim behind this research is to provide patients who are blind or are deteriorating into blindness with a replacement cornea for their eyes. At the moment, there's a huge demand for human cornea transplants, but if researchers can print them and distribute them out to patients accordingly, then those waitlists for transplants would be reduced significantly.

So how does this work? Researchers took corneal stem cells from a healthy donor and added the samples to alginate and collagen. The result of this mixture was what is called "bio-ink". From this stage, scientists were able to perfectly form the ink into the cornea shape using a 3D bio-printer. Of course, with most bleeding-edge level technology, it will be several years before the printed corneas are issued out to patients, as researchers still need to perform numerous levels of testing to ensure safety. Regardless of the wait time for the corneas, it still proves that this idea is completely feasible.

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest news. Jak's love for technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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