An Implant Made From Pig Skin Restored 19 People's Eyesight in Recent Trial - Gizmodo

An Implant Made From Pig Skin Restored 19 People's Eyesight in Recent Trial - Gizmodo

An Implant Made From Pig Skin Restored 19 People's Eyesight in Recent Trial - Gizmodo
Aug 16, 2022 55 secs

A team of scientists say they’ve found a new way to help people with damaged corneas: bioengineered implants created from pig skin.

Should it continue to show promise, the technology may one day provide a mass-produced alternative to donated human corneas for people with these conditions.

Unfortunately, like many organs, human corneas have to be used very soon after they’ve been donated, and they’re often in short supply, especially for people living in poorer countries.

In their research, published last week in Nature Biotechnology, the team gave their implant to 20 patients from India and Iran with advanced keratoconus, a condition where the cornea progressively thins out.

Many of these treatments still rely on donated corneas to reduce the risk of rejection by the body, while the team’s implant instead uses relatively cheap biosynthetic material derived from purified pig skin.

They’ve also developed a less invasive method of surgery to insert their implant, one that doesn’t need to remove the original cornea, which should reduce the risk of complications and allow for broader use in places with fewer resources.

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