A team of researchers has successfully 3D printed an eye implant for the treatment of diabetes.


Title: Revolutionizing Diabetes Treatment with a Unique Eye Implant


In a groundbreaking study, researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet have designed a revolutionary 3D printed eye implant to treat diabetes. This innovative device not only encapsulates insulin-producing pancreatic cells but also incorporates electronic sensors. By implanting it into the anterior chamber of the eye, the team has eliminated the need for invasive procedures or additional sutures. In this blog post, we will explore the incredible potential of this technology in revolutionizing diabetes treatment methods.

The Importance of the Eye:

The eye, with its unique immunological properties, serves as an ideal implantation site for such a device. Its transparent nature enables real-time monitoring, eliminating the need for invasive procedures to assess graft function. Additionally, the eye’s immune responses are limited in the anterior chamber, ensuring that the implant remains uninterrupted by the body’s defenses.

Innovative Design and Functionality:

The research team employed 3D printing technology to precisely position micro-organs, such as pancreatic islets, within the eye. This allows for a stable environment, ensuring the longevity and functionality of the encapsulated cells. The device itself is a 240 micron long wedge, ingeniously designed to fit at the angle between the iris and the cornea – a first in ocular device implantation. A flap-door technique secures the living mini-organs within a micro-cage, further enhancing their stability.

The Future Potential:

The results of initial in vivo tests on murine models have demonstrated the mechanical stability of the implant over prolonged periods. Furthermore, the implant showed excellent cellular integration with the host’s vascular system, further solidifying its potential for clinical use.

Looking ahead, the researchers envision future iterations of the implant incorporating advanced functionalities, such as integrated electronics and controlled drug release mechanisms. This constant refinement and optimization may lead these implants to become a standard treatment modality in the future, reducing treatment burdens and improving patient outcomes.


The 3D printed eye implant developed by the researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet holds tremendous promise for revolutionizing diabetes treatment. By leveraging the unique immunological properties of the eye, this technology eliminates the need for invasive procedures and offers real-time monitoring of graft function. With ongoing research and optimization, these implants may become the go-to method for diabetes treatment, significantly enhancing patient outcomes. The future looks exciting for cellular therapy in ocular implants, and this groundbreaking research is paving the way.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this incredible development! Please share your comments on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Stay updated on the latest additive manufacturing news by signing up for our weekly newsletter, delivered right to your inbox. To access the full research paper, titled “3D-Printed Biohybrid Microstructures Enable Transplantation and Vascularization of Microtissues in the Anterior Chamber of the Eye,” click here.

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