First ever patient to receive an artificial cornea implant can see again. Remarkably, the 78-year-old man could even pass the classic eye exam test of identifying numbers and letters from a distance.
Developed by an Israeli firm called CorNeat, the KNet implant actually merges with natural human tissue, meaning it can integrate directly with the eye wall and replace scarred or damaged cornea through injury or disease. The company calls it biomimetics: the emulation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.
“The surgical procedure was straight forward and the result exceeded all of our expectations,” said Professor Irit Bahar, director of the Ophthalmology Department at Rabin Medical Center.
“The moment we took off the bandages was an emotional and significant moment. We are proud of being at the forefront of this exciting and meaningful project which will undoubtedly impact the lives of millions,” said Bahar.
The cornea is a clear shield that protects the frontal part of the eye, and can be damaged or degenerate for various reasons. Implants already exist that partially replace the cornea, but CorNeat's solution takes everything one step further.
The KNet features biomimetic technology comprised of a skirt of special material that actually receives colonizing collagen and fibroblast cells, gradually and permanently embedding them within the eyeball.
“After years of hard work, seeing a colleague implant the CorNeat KPro with ease and witnessing a fellow human being regain his sight the following day was electrifying and emotionally moving, there were a lot of tears in the room,” said CorNeat Vision co-founder Dr. Gilad Litvin.
Blind Elephant Loves Listening to Piano
Paul Barton spends a lot of his time sharing his skills as a pianist at Elephants World Sanctuary in Thailand. He liked the sound of the place being a retirement centre for old, injured and handicapped elephants and asked the staff if he could bring his piano to the sanctuary. Enjoy this delightful video of a blind 80 year old elephant enjoying some gentle Debussy.