Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3D-Printed Eye Cells Could 'Cure Blindness'


News: 3D-printed eye cells could "aid in the cure of blindness" according to researchers at The University of Cambridge, who have successfully printed adult nerve cells for the first time.

The researchers used an inkjet printer to print living retinal cells of adult rats, which could be built up and used to create replacements for defective eye tissues.

"This is the first time that cells from the adult central nervous system have been successfully printed," professor Keith Martin told Dezeen. "We've demonstrated that you can take cells from the retina and you can effectively separate them out. These can be put in an inkjet printer and we can print those cells out in any pattern we like and we've shown that those cells can survive and thrive."

Martin and his colleagues at Cambridge's neuroscience department, Wen-Kai Haiso and Barbara Lorber, published their findings in research journal Biofabrication yesterday.

"[This] is an important step in the development of tissue grafts for regenerative medicine and may aid in the cure of blindness," said the article.

Martin hopes the development is a step towards treating retinal diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, the two biggest causes of blindness in the UK.

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