|Professor Yoon Jin-sook|
Severance Hospital is getting ready to commercialize Korea’s first artificial eye using 3D printer technology, the hospital said Monday.
Approximately 60,000 patients in Korea require an artificial eye. According to the hospital, however, only 40,000 have access to such products.
After three years of research, the team, led by Professor Yoon Jin-sook of the department of ophthalmology at the hospital and artificial eye maker Baik Seung-woon, succeeded in developing a technology that uses 3D printers to simplify the production process for an artificial eye.
In March, the team started its commercialization procedure by licensing out the technology to Carima, a local company specializing in Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printer.
Commercialization of the product has become more resilient as the company has completed the phase 1 of the “Artificial Eye Project,” sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT. It was part of the ministry’s “Next Generation New Concept Medical Device Development Technology Project.” Based on its success, the company has renewed its agreement for the phase 2 of the project.
Professor Yoon’s team plans to test the safety and validity of prototype products by 2020 while helping Camira obtain GMP certification and secure mass production technology for its prototype.
The Severance team and Camira also plan to establish a remote consultation network system that can provide artificial eyes to patients in various regions and countries. The system will become a one-stop platform that can manage consulting, design, production and delivery. The team has also registered a patent regarding the technology in China.
"We want to help patients who need artificial eyes with our 3D printing technology,” Professor Yoon said. "Our team plans provide top-notch public health services through high-quality artificial eyes and a network that can increase patient access."