A microscale device for implantation in the eye presents new opportunities for cell-based treatment of diabetes and other diseases. The 3D printed device aims to encapsulate insulin-producing pancreatic cells and electronic sensors.

The device is designed as a wedge, about 240 μm long, allowing the structure to be mechanically fixed at the angle between the iris and the cornea in the anterior chamber of the eye (ACE). The work demonstrates the first mechanical fixation of a device in the anterior chamber of the eye. It is designed to hold living mini organs in a micro-cage and introduces the use of a flap door technique to avoid the need for additional fixation.

In tests on mice the device maintained its position in the living organism for several months, and the mini organs quickly integrated with the host animal’s blood vessels and functioned normally. (Image credit: David Callahan)

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