Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have become the first in the world to give a patient a fully digital 3D printed prosthetic eye.
Forty-seven-year-old, Steve Verze from Hackney lost his eye when he was seven years old and has become the first person to receive the NHS funded 3D printed prosthetic.
The 3D printed eye, unlike traditional methods, uses scans of the eye instead of an invasive mould of the eye socket.
Once the scan of the eye socket is taken a 3D printed eye can be ready within two and a half hours in comparison to the six weeks needed for traditional acrylic prosthetics to be made due to them being hand painted.
The usual methods for creating a prosthetic would involve a socket mould which can be extremely uncomfortable, so much so that children can be put under general anaesthetic.
The new method for 3D printed prosthetics involves a much less invasive scan of the socket which provides the same if not better accuracy.
Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and professor of ophthalmology at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology said: “We are excited about the potential for this fully digital prosthetic eye.
“We hope the forthcoming clinical trial will provide us with robust evidence about the value of this new technology, showing what a difference, it makes for patients. It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists.”
A clinical trial for the effectiveness of the new 3D printed eyes versus the traditional acrylic prosthetics will begin involving 40 patients. The prosthetics will be assessed for motility (movement), cosmesis, fit, comfort and mucus discharge.