An ocular prosthesis is a custom-made polymeric insert that can be placed in an anophthalmic socket for cosmetic rehabilitation of patients who have lost their eyes. The process of creating such a custom-made ocular prosthesis is time-consuming and labor-intensive because it involves artistic work that is carried out manually. This paper proposes a novel semi-automated method for fabricating customized ocular prostheses using three-dimensional (3D) printing and sublimation transfer printing. In the proposed method, an impression mold of the patient’s anophthalmic socket is first optically scanned using a 3D scanner to produce a 3D model. The ocular prosthesis is then produced via a digital light processing 3D printer using biocompatible photopolymer resin. Subsequently, an image of the iris and blood vessels of the eye is prepared by modifying a photographed image of the contralateral normal eye, and printed onto the 3D-printed ocular prosthesis using a dye sublimation transfer technique. Cytotoxicity assessments of the base material and fabricated ocular prosthesis indicate that there is no adverse effect on cellular viability and proliferation. The proposed method reduces the time and skill required to fabricate a customized ocular prosthesis, and is expected to provide patients with easier access to quality custom-made ocular prostheses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF, funded by the Korean government, MSIP (2015M3A9E2067031), and the Basic Science Research Program through the NRF funded by theKorean government, MSIP (NRF-2016M3A9E9941746). The authors would like to thank Dong-Su Jang, MFA (Medical Illustrator, Medical Research Support Section, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea) for his help with Fig. 2.
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