Bio-tech company develops 3D-printed replacement cornea for humans
Precise Bio, a North Carolina-based company, has announced that it will launch a business dedicated to creating 3D printed products for the human eye. This follows the successful transplantation of the first 3D-printed animal cornea. This company was founded by scientists at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine. They are developing bio-fabrication machines that can restore tissues, cells and organs. The company’s proprietary technology, which is a 4D platform for bioprinting, is claimed to overcome the limitations of other bioprinters, allowing more complex tissues to engineered to be used in transplants and treatment. The company’s focus on creating marketable products in the eye will allow it to make rapid progress and overhaul the entire organ transplant system.
A replacement cornea is needed when a damaged cornea is caused by disease or trauma. The transplant surgery using donated corneas can be done, but it is dependent on the deceased donor. The waiting list is almost non-existent in the United States, but other countries have longer waiting times. Some require a wait of over a year. According to the Eye Bank Association of America, around 10,000,000 people are blinded by corneal disease that can be corrected through transplant surgery. Artificially produced corneas would help overcome the supply shortages and contribute to the development of more complex organs, such as livers and hearts.