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Just weeks after Newcastle University researchers made headlines for their world-first 3D printed corneas, it appears a team at Washington State University (WSU) has also been keeping its eye on 3D printing’s potential in making medical treatments for the visually impaired.

After receiving an 18 month exploratory research grant, WSU researchers have created a kind of 3D printed contact lens that could be used as a cheaper alternative to laser eye surgery.

Estimates - US - National - Eye - Institute

According to recent estimates from the U.S. National Eye Institute (NEI) over 35 million people in America were affected by age related eye disease in 2010. By 2050, the institute expects this figure to double.

Diabetic retinopathy, which will affect around one third of world’s diabetics in their lifetime, is one example of such diseases. In people aged 65 and over, the condition affected around 7.7 million people in 2010.

Conditions - WSU - Researchers - Treatment - Method

It is always challenging to treat such delicate conditions. At WSU, researchers propose a direct treatment method using microneedle arrays.

A technology that has been around in medicine for some time, microneedle arrays have been proven as an effective means of controlling drug delivery into the body.

Needle - Microneedles

Unlike a hypodermic needle, microneedles create small, shallow...
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