They’re not ready for human eyes yet, but one day these artificial corneas might help people see…
Scientists have 3D printed the thin protective film over the eye, called the cornea, using human cells — and it’s the most advanced version of an artificial cornea yet. Should the technology improve, it could help millions of people see again.
It was tricky to find the right recipe for an ink that’s thin enough to squirt through a 3D printer’s nozzle, says Che Connon, a tissue engineer at Newcastle University who was one of the creators of the artificial cornea. This bio-ink didn’t just have to be thin — it also had to be stiff enough that it could hold its shape as a 3D structure. To get the right consistency, the researchers added a jelly-like goo called alginate and stem cells extracted from donor corneas, along with some ropy proteins called collagen.
The cornea is the first lens light passes through before eventually hitting the retina at the back of the eye. Damage to the cornea — from injury or infection — can distort vision, or even lead to blindness. Right now, the damaged corneas are replaced with healthy ones from deceased donors, but there aren’t enough donated corneas to go around. Nearly 5 million people around the world are blind because infection scarred their corneas, according to the World Health Organization.
Image Credit: Elnur / Shutterstock
News This Week
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), in collaboration with Cornell University, have developed a novel targeted therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) that uses a specially-designed nano-carrier to deliver the Chinese medicine compound [...]
By early 2020, concern was mounting about a new, deadly coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization had declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency just days before. There had been [...]
As a COVID-19 and medical device researcher, I understand the importance of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So I am intrigued that some mask manufacturers have begun adding graphene coatings [...]
Swansea University scientists have uncovered potentially dangerous chemical pollutants that are released from disposable face masks when submerged in water. The research reveals high levels of pollutants, including lead, antimony, and copper, within the [...]
Bowel cancer survival rates could be improved if chemotherapy drugs were delivered via tiny nanoparticles to the diseased organs rather than oral treatment. That's the finding from Indian and Australian scientists who have undertaken [...]
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says his company’s experimental COVID-19 treatment, a pill that can be taken at the first sign of the illness, could be available before the end of the year. Speaking on CNBC, Bourla said clinical [...]
At the University of Chicago, scientists have developed an absolutely innovative, promising treatment for COVID-19 in the form of nanoparticles with the ability to trap SARS-CoV-2 viruses inside the body and use the body’s [...]
Australian researchers have identified neutralizing nanobodies that block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells in preclinical models. The discovery paves the way for further investigations into nanobody-based treatments for COVID-19. Published in PNAS, the research [...]
Someday, scientists believe, tiny DNA-based robots and other nanodevices will deliver medicine inside our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help manufacture increasingly smaller electronics. Researchers took a big step toward that [...]
Experts have discovered what they believe is the world’s most mutated COVID strain – and there’s one detail in particular that has scientists worried. Scientists have detected what is believed to be the world’s [...]
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely does not directly infect the brain but can still inflict significant neurological damage, according to a new study from neuropathologists, neurologists, and neuroradiologists at Columbia University Vagelos [...]
ANSTO has contributed to a comprehensive investigation of a promising type of nanoparticle that could potentially be used for intractable brain cancers in a combined therapy. The study, which was led by Dr. Moeava [...]
The immune response needed to protect people against reinfection with the coronavirus will be explored in a new human challenge trial, researchers have revealed. Human challenge trials involve deliberately exposing healthy people to a [...]
Researchers from Duke University are developing a flu shot with the new technology that was used for two coronavirus vaccines. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna shots use part of the virus's genetic code [...]
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have shown the potential of repurposing an existing and cheap drug into a long-acting injectable therapy that could be used to treat Covid-19. In a paper published in the journal Nanoscale, [...]