New artificial cornea could be safer, more effective

October 25, 2007

Munich, Germany-A new artificial corneal implant design should relieve some of the complications of corneal transplants or existing cornea implants.

Munich, Germany-A new artificial corneal implant design should relieve some of the complications of corneal transplants or existing cornea implants.

A protein coated polymer developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute, Munich, Germany, led by Joachim Storsberg, head of the university's medical-polymer research unit, repels water and prohibits cell growth so natural tissue wont grow over it.

"This special coating allows the implant to firmly connect with the cells [of the natural cornea]," said Storsberg.

Advantages of this implant include, a firm connection to the surface of the eye that prevents infection; a layer of protein that can withstand the thermal sterilization process; it is made from a polymer material that prevents cell growth so it can be made small enough to be sutured to the eye; the layer of donor tissue usually needed is unnecessary.