Corneal Transplantation

Background: Corneal damage due to accident or disease results in varying degrees of blindness in millions of individuals throughout the planet. In some cases it is possible to restore vision by a corneal transplant. A full-thickness transplant (penetrating keratoplasty, PK) runs a high risk of graft rejection. An alternative operation is a form of partial thickness graft (lamellar keratoplasty, LK) which involves transplanting limbal stem cells which regenerate surface corneal cells. LK transplantation is rarely available due to technical difficulty and level of skill necessary to perform the operation. Technology: Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have developed a method using an automated microkeratome to provide an essential means of harvesting stem cell tissue of reproducible dimensions. This method is far more consistent than the current manual method for stem cell harvesting. By providing consistency to the procedure, the operation could be based out of hospitals, surgical centers or eye banks. In turn this will simplify the corneal transplantation process and make it more readily available to patients with damaged corneas.

US 6,679,898

Type of Offer: Licensing

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