Synthetic cornea helped legally blind man regain sight


Artificial cornea implants Already exists for patients with corneal degeneration, but because surgeries are complex, they are usually a last resort when corneal transplants or implants don’t work. In contrast, insertion of the CorNeat graft is a relatively straightforward procedure that requires minimal stitches and cuts. In addition to that, it uses a biomimetic material that “stimulates cell proliferation, leading to gradual tissue integration,” according to CorNeat.

A very cool animation (above) shows exactly how it works, with the end result that the device is completely transplanted inside the eye wall. “Fibroblasts and collagen gradually colonize the integration skirt and full integration is achieved within weeks, permanently incorporating the device into the patient’s eye,” according to CorNeat. This allows for improved visual acuity and “exceptionally fast healing times”, and it feels pretty natural, to boot.

The company said ten more patients are approved for trials in Israel. It plans to open two more this month in Canada, with six more pending approval in France, the United States and the Netherlands. Although the implant does not contain any electronics, it could help more people than any robotic eye. “After years of hard work, seeing a colleague implant the CorNeat KPro with ease and seeing another human regain their sight the next day was electrifying and moving, there were a lot of tears in the room,” said CorNeat Vision co- founder Dr. Gilad Litvin.

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