A 3D printed artificial eye

Leuven-based eye specialists succeeded in creating a tailor-made artificial eye.

Eye specialists of the University Hospitals Leuven, in collaboration with the OMFS-IMPATH research group (KULeuven) and 3D lab of the Maxillofacial Surgery Department (University Hospitals Leuven), developed a novel method to fabricate a customized artificial eye (ocular prosthesis) with the aid of 3D printing technology. 

While artificial eyes are traditionally made in an artisanal manner from a mold of the anophthalmic socket, the advantage of a 3D-printed artificial eye includes rapid manufacturing and improved fitting and wearing comfort. The team designed an artificial eye with the aid of 3D-printing technology and successfully used it in a patient with anophthalmos (loss of the eye). 

The cost of an artificial eye is approximately 1300 euro and is covered by the health insurance in Belgium. Each year, 100 patients receive an artificial eye at the University Hospitals Leuven. Before implementing 3D-printed technology in the management of patients with anophthalmos, further research is required to validate the novel methods.

For more information: 3Deye@uzleuven.be