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First 3D Printed Human Corneas

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Co-author Dr. Steve Swioklo (left) and Prof. Che Connon, with a 3D-printed cornea
Co-author Dr. Steve Swioklo (left) and Prof. Che Connon, with a 3D-printed cornea(Credit:Newcastle University)

There’s a limited supply of donor human corneas, meaning that not everyone who needs an eyesight-saving transplant can get one. As a result, biosynthetic corneas have recently been developed. These could become quicker and easier to produce, as scientists have now successfully 3D-printed the things.

Led by Prof. Che Connon, a team at Britain’s Newcastle University created the corneas using an inexpensive 3D bio-printer.

In less than six minutes, it deposited a bio-ink gel in concentric circles, producing an artificial cornea matching the dimensions of a previously-scanned real one. That gel consisted of human corneal stem cells harvested from a healthy donor cornea, mixed with collagen and alginate (a polysaccharide found in algae). The bio-ink was thick enough to hold its shape and provide a micro-scaffolding to keep the stem cells alive, while soft enough to be extruded through the printer’s nozzle.

After the cornea was printed, the cells proceeded to grow on the scaffolding, becoming corneal tissue.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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