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Artificial Cornea Helps Pigs See

According to the Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences, scientists have succeeded in creating artificial corneas. The cornea covers the front of the eye; in healthy eyes, it is clear - but when it loses transparency, vision is threatened. More than 10 million people worldwide suffer from corneal diseases.

Artificial Cornea

The artificial cornea was made from a transparent matrix of collagen and a synthetic polymer; May Griffith at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute in Canada lead a team that successfully implanted the artificial tissue. New corneal tissue grew around it, including regenerated nerves. The team reported that "These biosynthetic ECM (extra-cellular matrix) replacements should have applicability to many areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, especially where nerve function is required."

Fans of William Gibson may remember his 1984 novel Neuromancer, in which he described Nikon Eyes, which were also cultured for transplantation.

No word yet on transplantable wings, to help pigs fly.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/1/2003)

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