Rabbit corneas were frozen and thawed by three methods and compared by full thickness transplantation as well as specular microscopy, histology, and transmission electron microscopy. Two of the methods used a recently described technique, in which the excised cornea was immersed in a potassium-rich buffered solution containing the cryoprotectant dimethyl sulphoxide (Me2SO, 2 mol/l). This solution was designed to restrict the loss of intracellular potassium and to prevent cell swelling at low temperatures. In one group the corneas were frozen and thawed surrounded by 5 ml of medium, while in the second group corneas were drained of excess fluid and frozen in air. The third group consisted of corneas cryopreserved by Capella and colleagues' method. All the cryopreserved corneas were damaged, but those that had been frozen in air after exposure to the new medium showed better structure and function than corneas frozen by either of the other two techniques.
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