What's the Problem?
Corneal blindness is one of the 4 main causes of blindness worldwide. Currently, there are more than 5 million people with corneal blindness that can only be treated with a transplant. The main limitation of transplantation is the shortage of donor tissue. Right now, there is only 1 cornea available for every 70 that are needed, which represents a waiting list of up to 2 years. The access to the available tissue and the cost of the surgery are additional limitations. This is a major problem in emerging countries. Tissue engineering can provide corneal tissue alleviating the lack of donor tissue and decreasing the cost of the procedure.