Would you be prepared to offer your time for a clinical investigation currently recruiting at Moorfields Eye Hospital London?

Provided you are aged 18 or over and meet the eligibility criteria, Professor Mandeep Sagoo’s team would be delighted to speak with you. 

5+ years in development, the 3D printed artificial eye is designed with you the patient at front and centre. Eliminating the molding process with a quick and harmless scan, the scan provides a photographic colour match of the companion eye together with all the detail to make a 3D prosthetic. 

This is a hugely exciting ‘first in the world’ clinical investigation!


Steve Varse with his 3D artifical eye

Steve Verze has received the first 3D printed eye prosthetic. Photo credit: Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The Investigation 

Losing an eye due to an eye cancer such as retinoblastoma, trauma or infection can impact the physical and psychological health of the patient. Using an artificial eye promptly to replace the lost eye is crucial to encourage rehabilitation.  

The process to supply artificial eyes to patients has remained relatively unchanged for over 50 years. Current practice uses invasive methods of impression moulding and depends on the artesian skills of the ocularists to craft an artificial eye by hand and intricately hand paint an iris to replicate the patient’s remaining eye. The process of handcrafting an artificial eye is time consuming and it can result in a wait of several months, exacerbating what is already a stressful time for the patients. This has triggered the importance to harness new technology to engineer a better approach to deliver a quick, non-invasive solution. 

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is conducting the ‘Click2Print Artificial Eyes’ clinical trial, which looks at producing 3D printed artificial eyes via non-invasive fully digital methods. The novel technology uses a device known as the anterior segment-optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) and a 3D printer. The AS-OCT device, which is safe, is used to scan the eye socket and take an image of the fellow eye non-invasively. This unique data is further processed using software and will serve as a template to manufacture the artificial eye using the 3D printer. The 3D artificial eye is then polished, adjusted and fitted in the eye socket by the ocularists.  

Utilising leading-edge fully digital technologies, the manufacturing process of the 3D printed artificial eyes will significantly speed up production and provide patients with a quick, comfortable experience. 

The aim of this clinical trial is to prove that the 3D printed artificial eyes are non-inferior to the handmade artificial eyes in terms of the aesthetic appearance, movement and overall fit and function. This clinical trial is conducted under the supervision of Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and his team and supported by the Moorfields Eye Charity. If you are aged 18 years or over and wearing an artificial eye, you may be able to help with this clinical trial. If you are interested in taking part in this research please register on the Research Opportunities at Moorfields (ROAM) website: https://research.moorfields.nhs.uk/ or contact the team members via email on: moorfields.roam@nhs.net.