Researchers and entrepreneurs have developed an implant made of collagen protein from pig's skin, which resembles the human cornea.
An estimated 12.7 million people around the world are blind due to their corneas, which is the outermost transparent layer of the eye, being damaged or diseased.
In a pilot study, the implant restored vision to 20 people with diseased corneas, most of whom were blind prior to receiving the implant. Remarkably, after 24 months in which "no adverse event was observed" in any patient, all 20 patients experienced restored vision and a restored ability to wear contact lenses.
This opens up the procedure to many centers and rural areas that do not have eye banks.