A new artificial organ gives a new meaning to the phrase “making eyes.”
For the first time, researchers used human cells to build a model of the surface of the eye that’s equipped with a fake eyelid that mimics blinking. This synthetic eye could be used to study and test treatments for eye diseases, researchers reported February 16 in a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dan Huh, a bioengineer at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues grew a ring of conjunctival cells — tissue that covers the white part of the eye — around a circle of corneal cells on a contact lens?shaped platform. A faux eyelid made of a thin hydrogel film covers and uncovers the eye to spread tear fluid over the cells.