The Intersection

They did.

When a person’s cornea – the transparent surface layer at the front of the eye – becomes damaged, it can be replaced using tissue from an organ donor. But there is a big shortage of corneal donors, as there are for every other type of organ.

An ideal solution would be to develop an artificial cornea, but is has proved very hard to design and manufacture a structure so that it is optically clear in the middle and biocompatible at the edges.

Now Garret Matthews, a biophysicist at the University of South Florida in Tampa, US, and his colleagues have come up with a design for artificial corneas that they say achieves this – using sea cucumbers.

i-3ddb7c708ebd005e3b23d1886bb79843-Sea Cucumber_jpg.jpgRead more about everyone’s favorite stimulating echinoderm at New Scientist.

Comments

  1. #1 Emily
    November 5, 2007

    That is definitely one cool (sea) cucumber in your picture!

  2. #2 Linda
    November 5, 2007

    Sea Cucumbers are amazing little creatures, although not very pretty, they seem to be very adaptable to human needs. The idea of an artificial cornea, created in part from the tiny collagen fibres that are in the sea cucumber, is astonishing and wonderful.

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