What is cornea
- The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. The cornea helps your eye to focus light so you can see clearly.
- Important functions of cornea in the eye include protecting the structures inside the eye, contributing to the refractive power of the eye, and focusing light rays on the retina with minimum scatter and optical degradation.
Why in News:
- Researchers from Hyderabad have 3D-printed an artificial cornea and transplanted it into a rabbit’s eye.
- Corneal damage is the leading cause of blindness worldwide with more than 1.5 million new cases of corneal blindness reported every year.
- Wide gap between the demand and supply of donor corneal tissue worldwide, and lack of adequate eye banking networks- less than 5% of new cases every year are treated by corneal transplantations due to donor tissue shortage.
- Corneal transplantation is the current standard of care for cases with severe disease and vision loss. The made-in-India product could offer an alternative solution to corneal blindness.