Penetrating keratoplasty has previously been the only surgical treatment for patients with corneal endothelial disorders. Recently, posterior lamellar keratoplasty has become a viable and less aggressive alternative technique. However, both transplantation techniques have disadvantages, such as non-immunologic graft failure, allograft endothelial rejection or a global shortage of donor corneas.
Over the past few years, several groups have established methods for the isolation, preservation, in vitro cultivation, transplantation, and in vivo stimulation of human corneal endothelial cells in animal models. It is hoped that these new strategies will allow the treatment of more than one patient with one donor cornea, performing autologous corneal endothelium transplantation from a surgical biopsy sample, or stimulating the growth of corneal endothelial cells in vivo. However, several aspects need to be addressed before commencing clinical trials.
CITATION Regen Med. 2013 Mar;8(2):183-95. doi: 10.2217/rme.13.11