Synthetic cornea mimics natural function

Edit Hook

Researchers from Sweden, Canada, and California have developed a synthetic cornea that can be implanted into a human eye to significantly improve sight in people with eye-related diseases. The synthetic cornea is made of collagen and encourages the regeneration of natural human tissue into the collagen matrix, improving sight while reducing infection and discomfort usually associated with cornea transplants or contact lens use. The regenerated corneas can produce tears and are sensitive to touch, essentially making them just like the natural cornea of a healthy eye.

Key Differentiators

Traditional methods for the treatment of cornea-related diseases that can cause sight loss require either special contact lenses or a complete cornea transplant. Both of these solutions can produce chronic discomfort of the eye and may lead to serious infections. This synthetic cornea is made from collagen, which is a common connective tissue found in the human body, so it is much easier for the eye to accept and integrate the implant into its normal function. This technology could help reduce resource usage associated with the production of contact lenses, which are mostly disposable and require the use of many other solutions and eye drops to maintain. Additionally, since donor corneas are almost always in short supply, this technology could help reduce the use of medical resources to remove, transport, and transplant donor corneas into patients with eye-related diseases.

Biomimicry Story

Synthetic corneas mimic the natural cornea of a human eye as they are made of common connective tissue and allow a person’s own cells to regenerate and work in concert with the implant.

Challenges Solved

Need for donor corneas and cornea-transplant procedures; disease-related sight loss

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