Science » Technologies and discoveries

Tooth as the organ of sight

German steel founder Michael Muller, 43, had an accident three years ago. He became blind as a result. His both eyes were terminally damaged. He would have spent the rest of his life in the dark if not for Dr. Conrad Hille.

Dr. Hille, a chief medical officer of ophthalmologic hospital in the German town of Homburg, invented a brilliant method of eyesight restoration for patients whose chances are next to nothing. He was looking for some kind of material to make an artificial eye. The material must meet two requirements: it must not be rejected by human organism and must be extremely durable. Having considered various parts of the human body, he finally made his choice. He singled out teeth for his experiments which lasted for several years until the method took shape.

Doctors pluck a canine tooth from a patient's upper jaw. They saw off the tooth's root and drill a hole in the tooth. Then they install a Plexiglas cylinder in the hole and glue it. The cylinder will work as a new pupil. The device will be ready for installation in an eye-socket in a three month's time.

Mr. Muller was not the first patient of Dr. Hille, he claims he already used the technique in 27 cases. Dr. Hille does not give any details as to an exact number of successful operations. "A third of all patients had their eyesight fully restored after the operation, others reported considerable improvements," says he. He said that patients from Saudi Arabia, Finland, and Nepal had undergone treatment in his hospital.

And Michael Muller can now enjoy life again thanks to his own tooth and the magic method of Dr. Hille. "I can read again, I can watch TV and stare at the flowers, I can see my wife and my daughter, in short, I am alive again," says he.

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