Despite all that they do for us, we usually take our eyes for granted. We don’t often realize that not only are they a vital part of the human experience, but are also extremely sensitive on top of that.
This is why even if a minute part of the optical system break down, it can lead to the complete depletion of vision and several other complications.
One such minute yet highly important part of the eye is the cornea, a transparent layer that covers the eye and helps keep it focused.
This is why if by some reason this part gets damaged, it can cause clouding of the eyes, which is a direct cause of loss of eyesight.
So far, the only solution to this problem is getting a cornea transplant, which as the name suggests, requires a human donor to supply the cornea.
Unfortunately, just like any other type of transplant, the patients here too often have to wait quite some time until a donor is available, and even then there is a risk of their body rejecting the implant.
Thankfully, now, scientists from the University Of Melbourne have found a way to get past these issues by creating some of the first Artificial Corneas to be successfully transplanted in living creatures.
These cornea cells were grown on a hydrogel base, essentially creating a living contact lens. This lens was then implanted into the eyes of animal test subjects via an incision.
Once the cornea cells take their place and start working properly, the hydrogel then break down, leaving no traces of it’s existence behind.
So far, this technology has passed almost all animal trails that it has gone through, and the researchers hope to start on human trails sometime next year.
Once those are taken care of, these implants will then hopefully be introduced to the masses as a regular treatment to cornea related problems, helping thousands of people all over the world along the way.