Endothelial and stromal quality control of corneas stored in an innovative bioreactor

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Abstract

Purpose

We recently patented a bioreactor (BR) for corneal storage, based on the restoration of a transcorneal pressure gradient and a continuous fluid circulation. Being designed for experimental works and eye banking it comprises 2 windows enabling a right through observation of the cornea. Aim: to assess on human corneas placed in the BR, the possibilities of non-invasive quality controls (QC) of endothelial cells (EC) and of the stroma (thickness, dioptric power, transparency, detection of scars)

Methods

EC QC were: 1/transmitted light microscopy (TLM) with a x10 very LWD objective after trypan blue + osmotic preparation directly performed in the BR; 2/observation with a macroscope (same preparation); 3/specular microscopy (SM, Konan and Hai) without preparation. Stromal QC were: 1/slit lamp; 2/OCT (Heidelberg and Tomey Casia); 3/customized transparometer (analysis of modulation transfer function), and 4/macroscope. Both quality of results and ergonomic aspects were considered

Results

EC were visible with TLM and macroscope at highest magnification but not with SM. Casia OCT allowed easy thickness mapping with a good agreement with US pachymetry performed as a control, and dioptric power measurements. Transparency could be controlled with the slit lamp and with our transparometer. The macroscope visualized stromal scars

Conclusion

EC and new stromal QC are now possible for corneas stored in the innovative BR. Other new complementary technologies of optical control are currently in development in our lab. Acknowledgments: EFS of Besançon Grant: ABM 2012, EFS 2012, ANSM 2012. PG, GT and SA patented the BR

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