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An artificial cornea is in sight, thanks to biomimetic hydrogels

possible. The cornea contains layers--a top layer of protective epithelial cells, a middle layer called stroma that provides the collagen matrix that gives the cornea its shape, and an innermost endothelial layer. With inlays, some of the epithelial layer can be scraped away and replaced with a hydrogel contact lens. The lens becomes biointegrated when clear epithelial cells grow over the top of the inlayed lens.

Inlays offer an advantage over LASIK surgery, which works but isn't reversible, Myung says. He envisions implantable contact lenses that can be replaced if the prescription changes.

Hydrogel lenses may even make their way deeper into the eye as replacements for inner-eye lenses damaged by cataracts.

The researchers have filed four patents for ocular applications of the hydrogel.


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Source:Stanford University


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