In a phase one study into corneal transplants that took place two years ago, ten Swedish patients, all with disease of the cornea, received biosynthetic tissue corneas. Two years on and after the successful transplant surgery, all patients' corneas are viable with low complication rates and after effects. In fact six of the ten who received the transplant now have better sight, despite the overall fact that use of the recombinant human type III collagen performed lower when compared to the use of human cornea donation. Despite this, corrective vision from contact lenses for those who had the synthetic transplant made the results level. Researchers hope that the severe shortage in donor corneas will be improved overall with the success of the synthetic trial to tackle the millions of new cases of blindness from cornea diseases worldwide. This was the first test of synthetic cornea transplants in human subjects.
Further trials will be needed on larger groups to progress the study, but it looks hopeful.