A 78-year-old legally blind man has regained his sight after a decade thanks to a successful artificial cornea transplant.
Israeli man Jamal Furani was able to recognise his relatives and read text after receiving CorNeat Vison's biomimetic implant during an operation that lasted less than an hour.
It was the first time the procedure had been successful, the Times of Israel reported.
Dr Gilad Litvin told the paper witnessing the moment was "emotionally moving".
"Unveiling this first implanted eye and being in that room was surreal," the company's co-founder said.
"Witnessing a fellow human being regain his sight the following day was electrifying and emotionally moving.
"There were a lot of tears in the room."
The artificial cornea, made out of a synthetic, non-degradable porous material, fits into the eye wall to replace scarred or deformed corneas.
Once the artificial cornea is implanted, the material integrates with live tissue by stimulating "cell proliferation" within the eye.
The following morning when doctors removed his bandages, Furani saw light, the company said.
"The surgical procedure was straightforward and the result exceeded all of our expectations," Professor Irit Bahar, who performed the implant surgery, said in the statement.
Furani suffered from edema of the eye and other diseases that rendered him legally blind for about a decade.
He was one of 10 patients approved for the experimental procedure at the Rabin Medical Centre.
The first trial includes blind patients who are not suitable candidates for - or have failed one or more corneal transplantations.
"Given the exceptional visual performance of our device, the expected healing time and retention", the company plans to start a second study later this year, with broader indications to approve the firm's artificial cornea "as a first line treatment, displacing the use of donor tissue used in full thickness corneal transplantations".