Researchers at Newcastle University have figured out how to 3D-print a replacement cornea in just 10 minutes using a standard 3D printer. Their technique combines “human corneal stromal cells” from a donor with alginate and collagen to create bio-ink that can transform into a new living cornea.
Because the methodology relies on corneal cells instead of an entire cornea, one donor can help multiple patients. The agar-based gel used in the process keeps the donor’s cells alive for days.
The innovation has the potential to help the roughly 15 million people worldwide who suffer from some form of corneal blindness.