Now We Can 3D Print New Corneas

DooKey

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Believe it or not, over 15M people a year need cornea transplant - only 44,000 are completed due to lack of supply. Because of this, the scientists from Newcastle University have developed a way to 3D print corneas using a new "bio-ink" technique. They can build a new cornea with the printer in less than ten minutes. They scan the patient's eye and the new cornea should be the exact size and shape of the cornea it will replace. This bodes well for the future of 3D printed body parts. Check out the video of a cornea printing.

Watch the video here.

Once printed, the team let the stem cells grow around the scaffolding provided by the alginate and collagen gel (the stem cells are what actually become the cornea once they mature; the other parts of the ink just support the stem cells). 83 percent of the keratocytes (a specific type of cornea cell) were still alive a week after printing — a promising result that indicates that the cells could, in fact, replace human corneas.
 

katanaD

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#d printing really has been a boon to the medical world. Can't wait to see it really flourish and what else comes of it.

medicine is finally starting to come out of the dark ages.
 

sfsuphysics

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#d printing really has been a boon to the medical world. Can't wait to see it really flourish and what else comes of it.

medicine is finally starting to come out of the dark ages.
Makes you wonder if they can still justify the prices they do for medical procedures if things aren't "rare" anymore... and the answer to that is, of course they will justify the costs. Invariably someone will own the patent to the bio-print-goo they use, and charge an arm and a leg for it, or get a generic patent for printing out a particular shape, or something. So either the medical industry will justify their $50 aspirin, or some greedy fucker will triple the price of epipens.
 

DukenukemX

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When they say "cornea transplant", doesn't that mean people donate their cornea's? Wouldn't they ruin their vision? Or are they harvesting them off dead people?
 

geok1ng

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Folks with keratoconus could benefit from this.

actually, corneal transplant a terrble idea in keratoconus: you pick a disease that only hinders refraction and takes the risks of reduced transparency, blood vessels swelling, leukomas and outright transplant rejection.
the safest approach to keratoconus is : early detection, harden the cornea using UV light and prescribing scleral lens.
but then again, a very expensive scleral lens is priced south of $1500, a simple lamellar corneal transplant costs much more...
 

wra18th

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actually, corneal transplant a terrble idea in keratoconus: you pick a disease that only hinders refraction and takes the risks of reduced transparency, blood vessels swelling, leukomas and outright transplant rejection.
the safest approach to keratoconus is : early detection, harden the cornea using UV light and prescribing scleral lens.
but then again, a very expensive scleral lens is priced south of $1500, a simple lamellar corneal transplant costs much more...
Are you a cornea specialist?
 

steakman1971

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How about discs for between bones? I have arthritis in one of my joints - it'd be great if they could actually fix it. I could also see a boon for people needing back surgery. My wife had back surgery a few years ago - nice titanium cage installed to fuse the bones together.
 

Nunu

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Lol, guys, why mess around with tiny body parts . Aim to print another whole body, there's the future.
 

geok1ng

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Are you a cornea specialist?

Yes.
Of the worst kind possible: 4 refractive surgeries trying to correct a LASIK mishap.

Corneal transplant for keratoconus is like dellidding a Ryzen to run naked die water cooling: your best possible results are (almost, but not quite) on par with scleral lens, but more often than not you will have a disaster.
 

wra18th

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Yes.
Of the worst kind possible: 4 refractive surgeries trying to correct a LASIK mishap.

Corneal transplant for keratoconus is like dellidding a Ryzen to run naked die water cooling: your best possible results are (almost, but not quite) on par with scleral lens, but more often than not you will have a disaster.
I have transplants in both eyes and it all worked out except for the astigmatism associated with the transplant. I have to wear scleral lenses. $900/pair. Glasses won't do. I'm grateful to see 20/15.
 

Gavv

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Exciting news for some of us.

I ask every year at my annual checkup what’s new in the technology side of it. Having had cataracts and a cornea that is failing makes this good news.
 

AK0tA

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I hope this advances and becomes a reality very fast. My eyes used to be excellent however at half a century they are deteriorating quickly and lasik's scares the jeepers out of me due to to may friends having complications. Yeah going to need new eardrums soon and rotator cuffs and knees. Crap, this isn't looking good.
 
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