Pig Corneas Save Chinese Boy From Blindness

By Anna Myers, March 25, 2016

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A 14-year-old Jiangxi boy was spared blindness after having a successful cornea transplant using parts of a pig’s eye.

According to the South China Morning Post, the boy lost sight in his right eye after he was injured by a firecracker during Chinese New Year. Doctors from Zhongshan University were able to successfully restore his sight, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

While the procedure may sound bizarre, it is increasingly viewed as a solution for treating people who suffer from cornea blindness. There are simply not enough human corneas available for transplant, so doctors have provided this alternative.

The procedure was pioneered by China Regenerative Medicine International in 2010, when it began to develop bio-engineered pig corneas after spotting their similarities with those of humans.

The transplant was the first of its kind in southern China and has the potential to help some of China’s five million sufferers of cornea blindness. A professor from Zhongshan University’s ophthalmic center claims that between one third and one half of those affected by the disease could be completely cured by the procedure. 

[Image via Elite Daily]

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