An NHS patient will today become the first in the world to have a 3D-printed eye fitted as part of a trial.
Steve Verze, from Hackney in London, lost his left eye in his 20s and has been using prosthetics — which need to be replaced every five years — ever since.
The engineer, now in his 40s, said the plastic acrylic versions have left him feeling 'self-conscious' and taking second glances in the mirror.
But he is now set to walk out of Moorfields Eye Hospital with the first ever 3D-printed eye, which is said to look far more like a real eye.
While the eye won't restore vision in his left, he hopes it will bring back some of his confidence.
Doctors at the hospital are offering patients 3D-printed eyes as part of a clinical trial, which they say could halve waiting times.
It currently takes about six weeks for a patient to have a prosthetic fitted because they need to undergo surgery and it must also be moulded to the socket.
Doctors hope the trial will show that 3D-printed eyes reduce waiting times and are a better fit for patients.
Some 60,000 people in the UK need prosthetic eyes, figures suggest.
Steve Verze, an engineer in his 40s, is set to walk out of hospital today with a 3D-printed eye. He lost his left eye in his 20s and has been using prosthetics that need to be replaced every five years ever since
Mr Verze is pictured here looking at his new eye in the mirror. He left hospital today with the eye
Mr Verze said: 'I've needed a prosthetic since I was 20, and I've always