What is a Corneal Transplant?
A corneal transplant involves the surgical replacement of a diseased or injured donor cornea with a healthy portion of a donor cornea. The disease or injury causes blindness by interfering with the normal passage of light into the eye. The transplant of clear, healthy donor tissue restores the normal visual pathway.
Types of Corneal Transplants
In recent years, corneal transplant surgery has advanced so that in many cases, only that section of the cornea that is diseased or injured is replaced. These procedures are referred to as “lamellar keraroplasty”.
The Cornea Biosciences™ bioengineered cornea can be used for “anterior lamellar keratoplasty” (ALK) or “deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty” (DALK). Anterior keratoplasty (ALK) replaces the superficial anterior section of the cornea while DALK replaces the entire stroma, or mid-section of the cornea (see diagram of corneal anatomy). ALK and DALK is used to treat corneal conditions such a keratoconus, a disease where the cornea becomes cone-shaped, and corneal scars.
An example of both can be seen here below (pictured on the right is DEEP ANTERIOR LAMELLAR KERATOPLASTY and on the left is ANTERIOR LAMELLAR KERATOPLASTY):
Other types of corneal transplants treat diseases of the corneal endothelium, the very back layer of cells on the cornea, for diseases like Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy. These procedures are referred to as “endokeratoplasty” and include procedures known as Descemet’s Stripping Endokeratoplasty (DSEK) or Descemet’s Membrane Endokeratoplasty (DMEK).
Cornea Biosciences™’ technology may advance in the future so that its bioengineered cornea may be able to be used for corneal transplant procedures other then ALK and DALK in the future.