Towards an Artificial Cornea

From EurekAlert!, news of more progress towards replacement parts for the eye: "Myung's project [was] to design, fabricate and characterize a bioengineered cornea based on the dual-network hydrogel. The result was a disc with a clear center and tiny pores populating the periphery. Myung calls the pores engineered into his artificial cornea the 'homes' he built for cells that need to infiltrate the artificial lens and integrate it with surrounding natural tissue. ... If you build it, they will come. The cells move in, and they bring furniture too - meaning the collagen they secrete. They even 'remodel.' ... Collagen binds to the edge of the synthetic disc and forms a junction between natural and synthetic tissues. Then a clear layer of epithelial cells grow over the disc. ... Animals have tolerated artificial corneas with no problems in trials as long as eight weeks. [The] material remains perfectly clear."



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