Steve Verge, 47, and an engineer from Hackney, east London, was given his left eye on Thursday and tried it for size for the first time earlier this month.
The eye is more realistic than other options, and is designed to have “clear definition and true depth of the pupil,” the hospital said.
Other prosthetic eyes consist of a hand-painted iris on a disc that is then embedded in the eye socket.
However, their design prevents light from going into the “full depth” of the eye, the hospital added in the release.
As well as looking more realistic, the procedure is considered less invasive.
Fitting traditional prosthetics requires taking a mold from the eye socket, whereas in 3D prosthetic eye development the socket is digitally scanned to produce a detailed image.
Verze’s functional eye was also scanned to ensure that both eyes looked alike.
Waiting times likely to be cut ‘in half’
The 3D image was then sent to Germany to be printed before being sent back to the UK, where it was finished and polished by Moorfields Eye Hospital Ocularist.
“I’ve needed a prosthesis since I was 20 years old, and I’ve always felt self-conscious about it,” Verze was quoted as saying in the press release.
“I often take a second look in the mirror when I leave my house, and I don’t like what I see. This new eye looks great and, being based on 3D digital printing technology, it only gets better.” It’s going to get better,” he said.
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 or three.
A spokesperson told Granthshala that a clinical trial involving more patients will begin soon.
Professor Mandeep Sagoo, the project’s clinical lead at Moorfields Eye Hospital and professor of ophthalmology and ocular oncology at University College London, said in a statement that he was “excited” about the potential of the new development method.
Speaking before the eye fit, Sagoo said: “We hope that the upcoming clinical trial will provide us with strong evidence about the value of this new technology, showing how much of a difference it makes for patients. “
Credit : www.cnn.com