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Gilles Thuret, Chloe Manissolle, Lydia Campos-Guyotat, Denis Guyotat, Philippe Gain; Animal Compound–Free Medium and Poloxamer for Human Corneal Organ Culture and Deswelling. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(3):816-822. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-1078.
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purpose. Eliminating fetal calf serum (FCS) from corneal organ culture (OC) media has long been a challenge. This study was an assessment of a new animal compound–free (ACF) medium for corneal storage and of its combination with poloxamer for end-of-storage corneal deswelling.
methods. A randomized controlled study with masked assessment compared the ACF medium to standard commercialized media containing 2% FCS and their combination with dextran for deswelling. Paired human corneas were randomly allocated at procurement, one to the ACF medium and the other to the FCS media, and then assessed at day (D)2 and D30 of OC storage and after 48 hours of deswelling. Comparison criteria were endothelial cell density (ECD) and morphometry by a corneal analyser, quality of endothelial visualization (using saline), EC mortality (trypan blue), corneal thickness, corneal transparency, and folding. Fifty-six corneas (28 pairs) with ECD of 2000 cells/mm2 or more were enrolled. Data were compared using paired tests with P < 0.01 deemed significant.
results. Parameters were similar at baseline (D2) between groups. Daily EC loss during the 30 days of storage was reduced with the ACF compared with standard (−0.31% ± 0.30% vs. −0.88% ± 0.38%, P < 0.001). With poloxamer 188 (Lutrol F68; BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany), EC loss was substantially reduced (−1.43% ± 3.60 vs. −15.41% ± 10.13%, P < 0.001) and morphometry better preserved, despite thickness reduction, transparency improvement and folding reduction comparable to dextran. After 30 days of storage in ACF medium and deswelling in poloxamer 188, ECD was 30% higher (2466 ± 447 cells/mm2 vs. 1729 ± 281 cells/mm2, P < 0.001). ACF medium alone and combined with poloxamer 188 considerably facilitated EC visualization at D30 and after deswelling.
conclusions. The ACF medium combined with poloxamer 188 for deswelling showed superiority over standard FCS medium in its ability to preserve EC viability and facilitate endothelial visualization. This innovative use of poloxamer for deswelling appears far less toxic than does dextran.
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