Hyderabad develops first ever 3D printed human cornea in India

Hyderabad: While technology is skyrocketing across the world, India is not far behind. For the first time ever, researchers in Hyderabad have successfully 3D printed an artificial cornea in the country. Apparently, in this first attempt, the cornea was transplanted into a rabbit’s eye. Researchers from LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) and Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) collaborated to develop this 3D printed cornea from corneal tissue from human donor.Read also – Gold Rate Today: Check the price of the yellow metal on August 08 in your city here

“This is a product made in India by an Indian team of clinician-researchers and the first 3D-printed human cornea that is optically and physically suitable for transplantation. The bio-ink used to make this 3D printed cornea can save the sight of army personnel at the injury site to seal the corneal puncture and prevent infection in war-related injuries or in a remote area without a tertiary eye care facility,” IANS news agency reported quoting the researchers. Read also – Independence Day Special: what’s in a name? The major cities of India and their unique nicknames

Sayan Basu and Vivek Singh, principal investigators at the LV Prasad Eye Institute, believe it may be a game-changing and disruptive innovation in the treatment of conditions such as corneal scarring (where the cornea becomes opaque) or keratoconus ( where the cornea gradually thins over time). Read also – Gold rate today: check the price of the yellow metal in your city on August 02, 2022

The cornea is the clear front layer of the eye that helps focus light and provide clear vision. Corneal damage is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, with more than 1.5 million new cases of corneal blindness reported each year.

Unfortunately, today there is a huge gap between the demand and supply of donor corneal tissue around the world. Approximately less than 5% of new cases of corneal disease are treated with corneal transplants due to the shortage of donor tissue.

About the 3D printed cornea

  • This 3D printed cornea is an all natural product with no synthetic components used
  • It is free from animal residues and I said it is safe to use in patients.
  • It was jointly developed by government as well as philanthropic funding.
  • Using recent advances in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, researchers at LVPEI, IITH, and CCMB used decellularized corneal tissue matrix and human eye-derived stem cells to develop a biomimetic hydrogel unique (patent pending) that was used as the base material for the 3D printed cornea.
  • These 3D-printed corneas made from human tissue are not only safer but also more affordable for corneal blindness patients in India, they said.
  • Each donor cornea can help prepare three 3D printed corneas. Additionally, the cornea can be printed in various diameters from 3mm to 13mm and can be customized according to patient specifications. This may potentially offer a solution to the shortage of donor corneas for transplantation and is of great clinical importance.

However, the printed corneas will need to undergo further clinical testing and development before they can be used in patients, which can take several years.

(With contributions from IANS)

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