A more realistic 3D printed prosthetic eye worn by a patient in the UK, or the first in the world

According to the London Moore Rumsfeld (Moorfields) Eye Hospital, November 25, the British man Steve Verze become the world's first patient with a prosthetic eye of 3D printing.

▲ Picture from: CNN

Wearing an artificial eye cannot restore the patient’s vision. It is a remedy for facial defects. The surface looks the same as normal eyes, so as to achieve the effect of improving the appearance. It is often used for eyeball removal, congenital ophthalmia, and ophthalmology. Situations such as trauma.

Steve Verze’s 3D artificial eye production process is roughly as follows: first digitally scan the eye socket and create a detailed image. The normal side is also scanned to ensure that the two eyes look the same in the end, and then the 3D image is sent to the German 3D printing service It was printed at FIT AG, and finally shipped back to the UK for finishing by Moorfields ophthalmologists.

▲ Picture from: Moorfields Eye Hospital

Moorfields said that compared to traditional acrylic artificial eyes, this 3D printed artificial eye has a more realistic appearance, and the way light passes through is more natural than traditional artificial eyes, which often hand-paint the iris on a black disc embedded in the eye .

In addition to looking more realistic, this new 3D printing process is better for patients to experience.

An "invasive mold" is required to make a traditional artificial eye, which may be very difficult. Younger patients may require general anesthesia; in the new technology, digital scanning of the eye socket is sufficient.

In addition, 3D printing has the potential to "cut in half" the time required to develop an artificial eye.

The traditional artificial eye is made by hand and takes about six weeks to complete; using 3D printing technology, the measurement of the orbit is shortened to only half an hour, and the printed artificial eye is controlled within two and a half hours, and then processed, polished and polished by an ophthalmologist Installation, the whole process only takes two to three weeks. The shortening of time will help reduce the waiting list for patients.

Although Moorfields claims that 3D printed prosthetic eyes are the world's first, there have been some studies in the field of optical prosthetic eyes.

For example, in a 2017 study , a 47-year-old female patient in Portugal installed an artificial eye with the help of 3D printing.

▲ Picture from: 3D printing industry

The researchers integrated 3D scanning, CAD modeling, and stereolithography. They first used a 3D scanner to accurately draw the patient’s face, then carve the appropriate eyelid and eye socket shape in CAD, and 3D printed it with a resin material. Make a mold to make a silicone prototype, and finally insert an acrylic lens matching the color of the patient's right eye into the silicone prototype to make a visually realistic artificial eye.

▲ Picture from: 3D printing industry

The significance of Moorfields' results may be that it marks the first time that 3D printed prosthetic eyes have been approved for human use and will become part of clinical trials. CNN reported that a clinical trial involving more patients will soon begin in Moorfields.

Although a fully 3D printed prosthetic eye may be the first time for mankind, "man's best friend" has already benefited from this technology.

▲ Picture from: Plos One

In November 2020, researchers from Chungbuk National University in South Korea developed low-cost personalized 3D artificial eyes for canines with eyeballs removed, tailored to breed, size and shape, and tested on two beagle dogs It is successful and may be used to treat other companion animals in the future.

The purpose of 3D printing artificial eyes is to minimize discomfort in the process of making and wearing artificial eyes, and to restore the patient's appearance more accurately and effectively, and to improve personal self-esteem and quality of life.

Steve Verze, who went home wearing a 3D printed prosthetic eye, said in an interview: "I have needed prosthetic eyes since I was 20, but I have always felt uncomfortable about it. When I leave home, I often look in the mirror more. I don’t like what I see. This new eye looks great, and based on 3D digital printing technology, it will only get better.”

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