LONDON, England: A British man made medical history last week when he received a 3D-printed eyeball.
"This new eye looks fantastic, and being based on 3D digital printing technology, it is only going to be better and better," the patient, Steve Verze, said, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Verze, an engineer, lost his left eye when he was in his 20s.
For many years Verze had worn a prosthetic eye, which did not restore his lost vision.
"When I leave my home I often take a second glance in the mirror, and I've not liked what I've seen," Verze said.
Verze volunteered to participate in a trial at London's Moorfields Eye Hospital, which offered patients state-of-the-art 3-D printed eyeballs, in a bid to provide more realistically appearing eyeballs.
However, the new eyeballs will not return sight to the eye.
It is hoped that 3D printing will create a new eyeball prosthesis industry, restoring the confidence of many patients who are self conscious about the appearance of their false eyes.
"We hope the forthcoming clinical trial will provide us with robust evidence about the value of this new technology, showing what a difference it makes for patients," said Professor Mandeep Sagoo, a consultant opthalmologist at Moorfields, as reported by the New York Post.
It currently takes six months or longer for a patient to have a prosthetic eye created and surgically implanted.
With 3-D printing, the entire process can be reduced to six weeks, said doctors.