Credit: Precise Bio

You could soon have your corneas 3D-printed if anything was to go wrong with your eyes. A technology that would transform the treatment of serious ophthalmic diseases and conditions.

That’s according to a North Carolina-based start-up called Precise Bio that has been working on bio-printing tissues for a variety of medical applications.

Precise Bio, a biotechnology company based in North Carolina, has established a dedicated ophthalmology business unit in its Winston-Salem facility. In addition to its 4D Bio Fabrication Platform, the unit aims to advance 3D bioprinting research for the eyes.

“As the first company to transplant a 3D printed corneal graft in animals, we are uniquely positioned to advance the use of bio-printed tissues in ophthalmology,”

– Aryeh Batt, Co-Founder, and CEO of Precise Bio.

The company just announced that its first products will be for the eye—starting with a human cornea suitable for transplantation using Bioprinters. These are a specialized type of 3D printers. Instead of putting down layers of plastic or metal to gradually build a structure, they put down layers of cells and biocompatible materials to build tissue.

Researchers have been trying to figure out how to print out complex tissue structures with blood vessels and nerves for a very long time, but Precise Bio thinks it is ready to solve the problem with its so-called 4D-bio-fabrication technology, which comprises cell expansion, bio-materials, processes, printing technology, and other required critical technologies.

Precise Bio has already done its first safety studies in animals and is now working toward a first-in-human trial for its printed corneas.