5 minutes - about as long as you need to recreate the cornea of a person's eyes with a 3D printer. This method was created by British scientists only recently. These studies are very important, as many patients are waiting for corneal transplantation with the risk of loss of vision.
Dr. Stephen Swyoklo and Professor Che Connon from the University of Newcastle have developed a solution that will most likely change the future of corneal transplantology. The researchers created a kind of "bio-ink", or "bio-gel", which has in its composition alginic acid and collagen.
This substance is tough enough to keep the shape of the cornea, and at the same time gently so as to shrink from the nozzle of a three-dimensional printer. Scientists used a simple 3D printer model, so they did not make a technical discovery, but their contribution to science is invaluable. Cornea of the correct individual shape can be recreated in just 5 minutes. To know the parameters of the patient's cornea, it is enough to scan his eye with a computer. On the video, you can see how the cornea is printed.
Although the result is impressive, one must remember that "printed" tissues for transplantation will have to undergo more serious tests, and this process is not fast. Only then can they be allowed for use in medicine.
Recall: the cornea is the outer layer of the eyeball that participates in the vision process: it refracts and focuses the light, so that we can see clearly. The transplantation of this body is needed by more than 10 million people worldwide, otherwise they face blindness. However, there is a serious shortage of material for transplantation. The ability to quickly print the cornea, which, while it is quite cheap and ideal for a specific patient - is a real breakthrough in transplantology.