Corneal Transplant     Infection     Allergic Eye Disease    

Corneal Transplant

Transplantation of donor cornea is the only treatment available for many corneal diseases which lead to blindness. Loss of vision results as the healthy cornea progressively loses more and more transparency. The surgical procedure of corneal transplantation replaces opaque cornea, but major problems following surgery can be caused when components of a patient’s immune system recognise the donor cornea as foreign, which leads to terminal damage to the transplant. This causes loss of transparency in the transplant and loss of vision in the eye.

We are interested in better understanding of the mechanisms by which donor corneas are rejected and also interventions which delay or prevent rejection. These include drug treatments of transplant recipients which modulate the immune response to a graft, and modification of donor cornea during the stage of storage in the eye bank prior to transplantation. While much of the information available on rejection of tissues such as kidney and heart is directly relevant and operative in corneal transplantation, our work has shown that there are important mechanisms and circumstances which are unique to cornea.

IO researchers working in this area:
Mr Frank Larkin

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