In a major development that may help millions of people to see once again, Chinese scientists have announced the successful transplant of a bioengineered pig cornea into human eye.
The transplant took place in late September and since then the patient’s vision has improved gradually, indicating that the surgery was successful. Doctors from Shandong Eye Institute in East China’s Shandong province experimentally operated on the eye of a sixty–year–old Wang Xinyi who could only see moving objects within 10 cm.
The pig cornea is devoid of cells, hybrid proteins and other antigens. It retains a natural collagen structure with remarkable biocompatibility and biological safety. China has around 4 million cases of cornea disease and every year, it affects around 100,000 people. However, only 5,000 people are able to receive a cornea transplant every year.