Researchers from the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a comprehensive eye health facility with its main campus located in Hyderabad, the Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad, and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology worked together to create India’s first 3D Printed Cornea from human donor corneal tissue.
The 3D printed cornea is completely indigenously developed, natural, and contains no synthetic components; it is also free of animal residues and safe for human use. Researchers in India have successfully 3D printed an artificial cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit’s eye for the first time.
India’s First 3D Printed Cornea
Researchers created a unique biometric hydrogel using de-cellularised corneal tissue matrix and stem cells extracted from the human eye as the background material for the 3D printed cornea.
“We used a biomimicking approach to provide an optimised micro-environment for stromal regeneration while maintaining the curvature and thickness of the bio-printed cornea to facilitate surgical implantation. We are hopeful about the positive outcome of India’s first 3D bioprinted corneal graft.”– Dr. Falguni Pati, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering at IIT-Hyderabad
According to Dr. Sayan Basu and Dr. Vivken Singh, lead researchers at LVPEI, this innovation can be extremely useful for treating diseases such as corneal scarring or keratoconus.
“It is a made-in-India product by an Indian clinician-scientist team and the first 3D printed human cornea that is optically and physically suitable for transplantation. The bio-ink used to make this 3D printed cornea can be sight-saving for army personnel at the site of injury to seal corneal perforation and prevent infection during war-related injuries or in a remote area with no tertiary eye care facility.”
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