Israeli doctors achieved a medical breakthrough in the ophthalmology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with the first implant of the thinnest artificial cornea ever printed in the world.
As part of a global effort to replace human corneal tissue with printed tissue, and after a period of research that achieved outstanding results, the use of this implant was approved and Shaare Zedek was selected as the first medical center to perform the first implant in the country.
The surgery is performed with a unique approach that shortens the duration of recovery and achieves very accurate results that prevent rejection of the implant.
“This is another step towards a future in which the dependence on the availability of human tissue for the purpose of performing corneal transplants in patients who need it will be reduced, explained Dr. Liron Berkovich, a specialist in corneal disease and corneal surgery. “Instead of using a cornea from a person who has died, they will use a custom-made cornea with full availability.”
The first patient treated with this innovative procedure suffered from extensive ocular pathology and rejection of a previous corneal implant, and due to the fear that a human implant would be rejected again, the team of the cornea unit decided to implant the EndoArt – a 50 micron thick synthetic corneal implant printed in the Israeli medical startup EyeYon.
The pioneering surgery is performed through an incision of about 2 millimeters in the wall of the eye, using advanced imaging means that enable the exact placing of the implant in the eye.
Prof. David Tzadok, a specialist in corneal diseases and surgeries, and director of the ophthalmology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, added that the medical achievement is expected to change the lives of hundreds of patients who have been waiting for many months for transplants due to a lack of human corneal availability.