Today’s Solutions: January 25, 2022

According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Steve Verze, a 47-year-old engineer from Hackney, has been the fortunate recipient of the world’s first 3D printed eyeball.

He first tried the eye on for size earlier in the month, but last Thursday he was properly fitted with the prosthetic, which is the first fully digital prosthetic eye custom made for a patient.

This means the eye is more realistic than other alternatives, such as glass, and is made to have “clearer definition and real depth to the pupil,” said the hospital.

Traditionally, prosthetic eyes have irises that are hand-painted onto a disk that is later embedded into the eye socket. However, this new design gives a more realistic impression and is made to have “clearer definition and real depth to the pupil.”

On top of that, the procedure to fit the eye into the socket is less invasive. For a traditional prosthetic, patients have to get a mold taken of their eye socket, but for a 3D prosthetic eye, the socket is simply scanned digitally. Verze’s other eye was also scanned to be sure that both his eyes looked the same.

These digital scans were sent to Germany to be printed before being shipped back to the UK where it was fine-tuned by a Moorfields Eye Hospital ocularist.

“I’ve needed a prosthetic since I was 20, and I’ve always felt self-conscious about it,” admitted Verze in the press release.

“When I leave my home, I often take a second glance in the mirror, and I’ve not liked what I’ve seen. This new eye looks fantastic and, being based on 3D digital printing technology, it’s only going to be better and better,” he beamed.

Other people who require a prosthetic eye will be pleased to learn that the 3D printing process cuts the waiting time in half, as it only takes two or three weeks to develop rather than the usual six weeks.

A Moorfields Eye Hospital spokesperson told CNN that they hope to begin a clinical trial with more patients soon.

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