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Briton receives a 3D-printed eye for the first time

(CNN) – According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, the British man is the first patient in the world to have a 3D-printed prosthesis.

Steve Ferris, 47, an engineer from Hackney, east London, received his left eye on Thursday and had it tested for the first time earlier this month.

Moorfields Eye Hospital said in a news release Thursday that the prosthetic eye is the first fully digital artificial eye to be created for a patient.

The hospital said the eye is more realistic than other alternatives and is designed to have “clearer definition and true pupil depth”.

Other artificial eyes consist of a hand-drawn iris on a disc that is then fused into the eye socket.

The hospital added in the statement that its design prevents light from going beyond the “full depth” of the eye.

In addition to a more realistic appearance, the procedure is considered less invasive.

Placing a conventional prosthesis requires taking a mold from the eye socket, while in the development of a 3D prosthetic eye, the socket is digitally scanned to create a detailed image.

Verze’s functional eye was also examined to ensure that both eyes looked the same.

Possibility to cut waiting times in half

The 3D image was then sent to Germany to be printed before being sent back to the UK, where it was completed and polished by an ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

“I’ve needed a prosthesis since I was 20 and have always felt ashamed,” Verze said, according to the press release.

“When I leave the house, I often take a second look in the mirror and don’t like what I saw. This new eye looks great and is based on 3D digital printing technology, and it will get better and better.”

Moorfields Eye Hospital said 3D printing has the potential to “cut in half” the time it takes to develop an artificial eye, from six weeks to about two to three.

A CNN spokesperson said a clinical trial with more patients will begin soon.

Professor Mandeep Sajo, clinical leader of the project at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Professor of Ophthalmology and Eye Oncology at University College London, said in a statement he was “excited” about the possibilities of the new development method.

Speaking before the eye transplant, Sago said, “We hope that the upcoming clinical trial will provide us with strong evidence of the value of this new technology, to show the difference it makes to patients.”

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