Authors: Shweta Kamthan, Jyoti Singh, Kamalika Banerjee, Pradip K. Roy Choudhury and James Gomes
Diseases of the cornea that result in its opacification are a major cause of blindness worldwide. Corneal transparency is usually restored by keratoplasty, a surgical procedure during which the defective cornea is replaced with a donor cornea. However, there is an acute shortage of donor cornea and high incidence of graft rejection. Hence, researchers have been trying to develop artificial cornea by cell culture. In normal practice, the remaining rim of the donor cornea is discarded after transplantation. We developed a new dissection and primary culture protocol that utilizes the discarded corneal rim as a source of cells for in vitro corneal research. Using the protocol human corneal epithelium, stroma and endothelium cells obtained from discarded rims exhibited similar morphology and proliferation rates to cells obtained from the center of the cornea. We concluded that corneal rim was a good source of cells for in vitro corneal cell culture.
Keywords: cell culture, cell morphology, corneal rim, keratoplasty, proliferation rate, viable cell density.