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First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
The first 3D printed human corneas have been made at Newcastle University; this is a proof-of-concept manufacture, as shown in the following video:
(First 3D Printed Human Corneas video)
Stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor’s cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen** to create a “bio-ink” solution. Using a simple low-cost 3D bio-printer, the bio-ink was successfully extruded in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea in less than 10 minutes.
They also demonstrated that they could build a cornea to match a patient’s unique specifications, based on a scan of the patient’s eye.
The technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas, but it will be several years of testing before they could be used in transplants, according to the scientists.
Reading this made me think about
Larry Niven's amazing autodoc, from his 1970 blockbuster , which came fully stocked with spare parts:
But they got him into the autodoc anyway. It was a puppeteer-shaped coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself, and bulky Puppeteer surgeons and mechanics must have intended that it should handle any conceivable circumstance...
There were two heads in there, and two more with necks attached, and enough organs and body parts to make several complete puppeteers...
(Read more about Larry Niven's autodoc
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