A study made public this Wednesday has shown that biosynthetic corneas can and do restore eyesight in humans.
Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa in Canada, along with Linköping University in Sweden, conducted a clinical trial using ten Swedish patients with advanced keratoconus or central corneal scarring. Each patient had the damaged corneal tissue in one eye surgically replaced with a biosynthetic cornea made from synthetically cross-linked recombinant human collagen. After two years, six of the patients’ vision had improved. After being fitted with contact lenses, their vision was comparable to that of someone who had received a real human cornea transplant.
“This study is important because it is the first to show that an artificially fabricated cornea can integrate with the human eye and stimulate regeneration,” said Dr. May Griffith, who holds positions at OHRI, the University of Ottawa and Linköping. “With further research, this approach could help restore sight to millions of people who are waiting for a donated human cornea for transplantation.”