3D Printed Human Corneas Could Cure Blindness; THC Vaping Teen Gets Double Lung Transplant

Sources: EducateInspireChange.org; Fox5NY

The cornea is the outermost layer of the human eye and it has an important role in focusing vision. Statistics show that there are currently 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder. On top of that, there are an additional 5 million people who suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease.

Published in Experimental Eye Research is a report on how stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a ‘bio-ink’ that was successfully extruded to form the shape of a human cornea by using a simple low-cost 3D bio-printer in only about 5 minutes. The stem cells were then shown to culture (grow).

Professor Che Connon, who led the work, said: “Our unique gel keeps the stem cells alive while producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer. Now we have a ready to use bio-ink containing stem cells allowing users to start printing tissues without having to worry about growing the cells separately.

“Our 3D printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing, and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants. However, what we have shown is that it is feasible to print corneas using coordinates taken from a patient eye and that this approach has potential to combat the worldwide shortage.”

Daniel Ament was a student with dreams of becoming a Navy Seal. That dream was shattered when he got gravely ill from vaping at just 16 years old. Has has admitted to vaping nicotine and marijuana, having no idea he was destroying his body. Consequently, he says:

“I spent 29 days on life support as a 16-year-old and I only had a 10 percent chance of survival.”

Daniel became the first teen to undergo a double lung transplant due to vaping is now healing. “What I saw in his lungs is nothing I’ve ever seen before and I’ve been doing lung transplants for 20 years,” said one of Daniel’s surgeons during a press conference last year.

Daniel, now very thin, must take 20 pills a day — not the life he ever expected. Now he wants other kids to know what he didn’t: He wants to continue to teach kids about the dangers of substance abuse and has started a nonprofit organization focused on health and wellness, which is online at Fight4Wellness.com.

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