Biophysicists at the University of South Florida have developed a design for artificial corneas using tiny collagen fibres extracted from sea cucumbers, which may prove a boon to people whose corneas have damaged.
Creating such a design for corneas as is optically clear in the middle and biocompatible at the edges has been a challenge for scientists.
Garret Matthews, a biophysicist behind the latest work, says that the new design for artificial corneas is an answer for these challenges, reports New Scientist magazine.
For making the artificial cornea, the researchers extracted tiny collagen fibres from sea cucumbers. Upon being placed in a centrifuge, the fibres self assemble into layers in which the fibres are aligned vertically, a structure that is very similar to the tissue in mammalian corneas.
The process led to the creation of a thin layer of material that is transparent and biocompatible, as well as cheap and easy to make, say the researchers.