3D printing is not only restricted to printing plastic parts, home decor, models, and architecture. It has major potential to save the life of people and make them even more strong and efficient. The greatest news is that Scientists have 3D printed Human Cornea with the help of 3D Bioprinting which can someday save you from Blindness.
Don’t worry, the finished product is crystal clear, not dark blue like the cornea in the photograph above, which was dyed to make it easy to see.
How 3D printed Cornea created?
The scientists have used 3D bioprinting techniques to print the Cornea. The full process of bioprinting is explained in Bioprinting: The Ultimate Tool of Future Medical Science. We have attached the official video of 3D printed Human Cornea which will solve most of your queries.
They use a simple 3D bio-printer and their unique bio-ink. Scientists need to create a bio-ink thin enough to filter through a 3D printer, but firm enough to maintain a 3D shape. To get the right texture, scientists created a bio-ink using stem cells from donor corneas, adding it to alginate (a jelly-like viscous gum) and collagen (proteins).
3D bio-printer prints out layers of “bio-ink”, building them up in concentric circles, to form a cornea-shaped scaffolding. Stem cells are then added and left to grow to create a cornea ready for transplantation. This printer can print the whole scaffold/shape of Cornea under 6 minutes.
Before printing the cornea, scientists scanned patients’ eyes to ascertain the necessary dimensions and coordinates. This method will allow them to create custom-made cornea transplants that suit the patient’s needs.
The cornea does not have blood vessels which makes the transplant slighter easier. But patients have to wait for this artificial cornea as it is available only for research purpose but it will improve and develop with time.
Let us know in the comments below, what do you think of Future of Bioprinting?