The Israeli company CorNeat announced the first successful operation to install a new type of corneal implant, thanks to which a completely blind 78-year-old man was able to see again. This technology is fundamentally different from the previous ones in that it does not use donor tissue, as well as electronic and mechanical components. After a few weeks, the implant is completely fused with the cornea and becomes a single whole with it.
The cornea is a thin, transparent layer of cells that covers the front of the eye. It is prone to degeneration and is often scarred, both from injury and from illness. This can lead to blindness, as in the case of the indicated patient, but until recently, placing implants to correct it was considered the last option due to the many associated risks. The development of CorNeat is fundamentally changing this situation.
Israeli technology is based on two principles. First, it uses minimal surgery, just a few incisions and sutures. Secondly, the synthetic cornea is made of biomimetic material, fibroblasts and collagen, therefore, it is completely fused with the tissues of the eye. As stated in the official description from CorNeat, the implant "stimulates cell proliferation leading to progressive tissue integration."
Although complete engraftment takes several weeks, the patient's eyesight returned on the day of the operation - he was able to read the ophthalmological chart and recognize his family members. Now in Israel, ten more patients with vision problems are being prepared for surgery. Patients from all over the world are next in turn - all of them are attracted by the speed of vision recovery after surgery.