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David Myung, Christopher Ta, Edward Yung, Curtis Frank; Chondro-ocular graft transfer:: An alternative to allograft transplantation?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3477.
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To evaluate the use of cartilage as a potential corneal and scleral graft material in order to possibly increase donor tissue availability worldwide, as well as to explore a new avenue toward corneal tissue replacement in cases of repeat allograft rejection through chondro-kerato autograft transfer.
Cartilage specimens were harvested from animals from various anatomic locations, and cut into circular discs. Glycerol was used to dehydrate the samples to varying water content levels. All specimens were weighed and measured before and after dehydration. Specimens were then crosslinked at various levels of hydration using riboflavin-5-phosphate at UV light. The dimensional stability and water content of the crosslinked samples were then measured. Both crosslinked and uncrosslinked, and hydrated and dehydrated specimens were then processed for histological evaluation and compared to corneal tissue.
Dehydration of cartilage using glycerol renders it less opaque and more transparent. The effect of crosslinking on the dimensional stability of cartilage tissue were analyzed both in terms of water content changes, transparency, and histological morphology.
Much of the developing world lacks access to donor corneal and scleral tissue. Chondral allografts or xenografts to replace these tissues could be an inexpensive solution to meet this worldwide clinical need. In addition, chondro-kerato autograft transfer may provide a way to deliver viable corneal replacement tissue to the eyes of patients who have suffered from repeat allograft failures.
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