TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — For the first time in the United States, a 3D cornea was printed using human cells.

A small team of three scientists at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee created the cornea using a 3D bio-printer and human cells.

The technology was first developed in the UK.

The team expanded the existing tech by making a mold that can print multiple corneas.

Combined with a full model of a blinking eyeball the researchers spent more than a year developing, the corneas can be used to test new products.

20-year-old research assistant Paul Dinh hopes the corneas will also help create an eye that could be transplanted to people suffering from vision loss.

“I can go and travel and see all these beautiful things, but then there’s people out there that can’t really see at all. And it really made me appreciate the work that I was doing, that it had meaning to it and then that maybe my research would help someone in the future down the line,” said Dinh.

The researchers hope their model eyeball and cornea can help eliminate animal testing.

That would make new products cheaper to develop and improve animal welfare.

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