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World's first 3D-printed eye transplant

Steve Warz from London became the first person to have an eye transplanted with a 3D printer. He underwent surgery at Moorfields Specialized Hospital in the UK. Writes about it with the BBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

Doctors hope this eye will be more realistic than traditional acrylic dentures.

And that should halve the time it takes for a patient to get ready for a denture, from six weeks to three.

“I've needed a prosthesis since I was 20, and I've always been embarrassed about it,” admits Steve, now in his 40s.

The left eye transplant took place on Thursday, November 25, CNN writes.

"Looks fantastic"

“When I leave the house, I always glance at myself in the mirror,” the patient says. "And I didn't like what I saw."

“This new eye looks fantastic and the fact that it was made using digital 3D technology will keep making it better and better over time,” says Steve rejoicing.

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In traditional prosthetics, the patient must go through a two-hour orbital impression formation session before the prosthesis is installed and tinted to look like a real eye.

Moorefields Hospital says 3D technology should help reduce prosthetic fabrication times to two to three weeks, with a first visit to an ophthalmologist taking just half an hour.

The eye is much more realistic than other alternatives and is designed to provide "sharper definition and real depth of the pupil," the hospital said.

Other prosthetic eyes consist of a hand-drawn iris on a disc, which is then inserted into the orbit. However, their design prevents light from reaching the "full depth" of the eye.

The procedure not only looks more realistic but is considered less invasive.

Conventional prosthetics require an orbital impression, while XNUMXD eye sockets are digitally scanned to create a detailed image.

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Varza's functional eye was also scanned to make sure both eyes look the same.

The XNUMXD image was then sent to Germany for printing before being shipped back to the UK, where it was finished and polished with an eyepiece from the Moorfields Ophthalmology Clinic.

Moorefields professor and ophthalmologist-consultant Mandip Sagu says clinic staff are excited about the potential of the new digital prosthesis.

“We hope that the upcoming clinical trials will provide us with strong evidence of the value of this new technology and show how useful it is for patients,” said the professor. "And this will obviously help to shorten the queues for such operations."

A hospital spokesperson said a clinical trial with more patients will begin soon.

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United Kingdom prosthesis eye World
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