Aim: To introduce a new floating device for donor corneas to avoid accumulation of debris onto the endothelial surface during organ culture and to facilitate handling of the tissue during preservation and surgery.
Methods: From eleven donors, one randomly chosen cornea was stored in organ culture attached to a floating device, while the contralateral cornea was attached to the lid of the vial by a suture ('hanging by suture'). Endothelial cell density (ECD) was evaluated prior to tissue storage and after 2-3 weeks of culture. Furthermore we compared ECD in a larger group of corneas sent off for transplantation with the device (n=281) to a historical group of control corneas 'hanging by suture' (n=444).
Results: There was no significant difference in ECD between corneas attached to the floating device or 'hanging by suture' (n=11; p≥0.1). Similarly, no different ECDs were observed between corneas sent off for transplantation with the device (n=281) and the historical group of control corneas 'hanging by suture' (n=444) (p≥0.1).
Conclusion: The use of the floating device may not affect tissue quality. Since its introduction the use of the device has been uneventful and greatly facilitated tissue handling.