Newcastle University scientists cultivate 4D tissues
Groundbreaking research at Newcastle University could reduce cornea transplant shortage.
The scientists have created a self-curving cornea for the first time ever, using a biological system they developed.
It lets cells form a desired shape by moulding their surrounding material.
Professor Che Connon led the research.
He said: "Currently there is a shortage of donated corneas which has worsened in recent years, as they cannot be used from anyone who has had laser eye surgery so we need to explore alternatives such as these self-curving corneas.
"The technology and understanding we have developed holds enormous potential as these corneas show that engineered tissue shape can be controlled by cell actuators."
The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye ball.
The team intend to take the work forward over the next few years with a view to refining the technique as a potential method of manufacturing corneas for human transplant.