Experimental synthetic cornea restores vision to 20 patients

Scientists claim to have restored the vision of 20 people with significant visual impairment using a synthetic corneal implant made from pigskin.

Published in Nature Biotechnology, a new paper details how researchers in India and Iran created cell-free synthetic corneas from “purified and freeze-dried type I medical-grade porcine dermal atelocollagen” – also known as collagen. of frozen pigskin – and implanted them in the eyes of 20 visually impaired people.

To study how the experimental implant works, the team conducted a pilot feasibility study that implanted the synthetic corneas in the eyes of 14 of the first 20 initially blind patients.

Remarkably, after 24 months in which “no adverse events were observed” in any patient, all 20 patients had restored vision and restored ability to wear contact lenses.

Although many studies have been devoted in recent years to the creation and development of synthetic corneas, the researchers noted in their study that to their knowledge, no one had yet attempted their specific implantation procedure – and Lagali said told Technology Networks that he hopes the new technique will “significantly reduce the demand for donor corneal tissue in the future.”

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