Office for Technology Commercialization

Artificial Cornea Made From Silica Composite

Technology #z09049

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Damaged CorneaCorneal Transplant ComplicationsKeratoprosthesis
Alptekin Aksan, PhD, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, School of Science and Engineering
Dr. Aksan’s research interests include celluar biophysics, biothermodynamics and hybrid biomaterials.
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Allison Hubel, PhD, Mayhugh Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, School of Science and Engineering
For more than 15 years, Dr. Hubel has been involved in studying both basic science and translational issue behind cell and tissue preservation (liquid storage and cryopreservation).
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Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,492,271

Corneal Prosthesis Provides Superior Mechanical Strength, Biocompatibility and Optical Properties

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that corneal blindness affects more than 10 million people worldwide. Despite the increased prevalence, only 100,000 people receive corneal transplants each year through a process called keratoprosthesis. This shortfall is due to inadequate supply of donor corneas along with the unsuitability of some patients to receive a corneal graft due to abnormal formation of blood vessels of the cornea resulting in transplant rejection. An artificial cornea based on a composite collagen/silica platform has been developed and preliminary studies have shown the corneal prosthesis has quicker healing in vitro with superior mechanical strength, biocompatibility and optical properties as compared to those that could be obtained by the current methods.

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial period up to 18 months
  • $5000 for six month trial license
  • Fee waived if MN operating company or if sponsoring $50,000+ in research
  • No US patent expenses during trial period
  • Exclusive license for a $25,000 conversion payment
  • 3% royalty after $1 million in product sales, 2% for MN companies

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** Contact Kevin Anderson for specific details. **

Effective Corneal Transplant with Silica Composite Artificial Cornea

The innovation is a silica-based composite artificial cornea. The material composition is composed of naturally occurring silica and collagen. These biocompatible materials allow for easy integration of the device into the eye, a key component in terms of limiting rejection, which can be seen with transplants and synthetics. Additionally, the silica is both transparent and strong, and when combined with naturally occurring collagen, the materials marry together well to form a composite that is strong without being too brittle. The material is molded to match the curvature of a natural cornea to ensure proper fit and seating in the eye.


  • Based on collagen/silica platform: Enables rapid healing after keratoprosthesis with superior mechanical strength, excellent biocompatibility and favorable optical properties.
  • Effective bio integration into surrounding tissues: Potential for less post corneal transplant complications like host tissue melting, spontaneous rejection and eye infection