Well artificial cornea test, returned sight to 14 patients – Medicine

The implantation of a new artificial cornea made of collagen obtained from pig skin allowed 20 patients with keratoconus, a degenerative disease of the cornea, to obtain an important improvement in visual function. Fourteen of them, legally blind before undergoing the surgery, recovered their sight, finding themselves in three cases with a perfect vision of 10/10.

These are the results of the first tests on an artificial cornea developed by Swedish researchers from Linköping University and LinkoCare Life Sciences company. The results were featured in Nature Biotechnology. “Although corneal blindness can be cured by transplantation, an estimated 12.7 million people worldwide are waiting for a cornea donor, with one cornea available in every 70 needed,” the researchers write. All over the world we have been working for years for the development of solutions: polymers, biomaterials and already available products used in a limited number of cases, especially when the transplant fails.

However, the need for artificial cornea substitutes remains a largely unmet need. The Swedish team sought to develop a product that was both affordable, accessible and easy to implant. “As a raw material we used natural type I collagen, the main protein in the human cornea,” they write.

“To have an abundant but sustainable and cost-effective collagen supply, we used medical-grade collagen from pig skin, a purified food industry by-product already used in FDA-approved medical devices for glaucoma surgery and for wound dressing “. The artificial cornea was tested in 20 keratoconus patients in Iran and India. 14 of them were legally blind.

In the weeks following the surgery, the implant proved to be able to correct disease-related damage, restoring the thickness and structure of the cornea. Participants’ vision improved similarly to what would have been expected after a natural cornea transplant. The 14 blind patients regained their vision and three of them acquired 10/10 perfect vision.

“The results show that it is possible to develop a biomaterial that meets all the criteria to be used for human implants, which can be mass-produced and stored for up to two years and thus reach even more people with vision problems,” he said. Study coordinator Neil Lagali said in a note. The researchers now look forward to further studies to test the validity of this approach. If the first results were confirmed, a strategy would be available to “circumvent the problem of the shortage of donated corneal tissue and access to other treatments for eye diseases”, concludes Lagali.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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