New Artificial Cornea Could Restore Vision For Millions Worldwide

May 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
clipped from www.sciencedaily.com

An improved artificial cornea, which could restore the vision of more than 10
million people worldwide who are blind due to diseased corneas, finally is
moving toward reality, scientists in California conclude in a new analysis of
research on the topic.
disease or injury to the cornea — the clear tissue covering the front of the
eye — is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Although treated in
developed countries with transplants from donors, cornea transplants are
unavailable in many parts of the world due to shortages of donors or to cultural
or religious barriers.

The report describes new materials that already have made limited-use artificial corneas available, partially fulfilling a medical dream that dates to 1771. More advanced materials, including polymer hydrogels similar to those used to make soft contact lenses, promise to so closely imitate human donor corneas that “these devices could eliminate the need for donor corneas altogether,” the article notes.

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