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The effect of gravitational force on limbal stem cell growth
  1. Ammar Miri1,2,
  2. Khurram Hashmani1,3,
  3. Muhamed Al-aqaba4,
  4. Lana A Faraj1,
  5. Usama Fares1,
  6. Ahmad Muneer Otri1,2,
  7. Dalia G Said5,
  8. Harminder Singh Dua1
  1. 1Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Hashmanis Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
  4. 4College of Medicine, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq
  5. 5Research institute of Ophthalmology, Cairo, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harminder Singh Dua, Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, B Floor, Eye ENT Centre, Queens Medical Centre, University Hospital, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; harminder.dua{at}


Aim To evaluate the effect of gravity on corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro.

Methods Fourteen donor peripheral corneoscleral rims were used. Twenty explants were chosen of which 10 were placed vertically and 10 were placed horizontally during culture. Analyses were performed to investigate the effect of gravity on epithelial growth by measuring the extent of epithelial cell growth above and below the horizontal meridian and counting the total number of cells using a haemocytometer.

Results There was no statistically significant difference in cell growth between the explants that were placed horizontally and vertically. However, in the vertical explant group the cells grew preferentially towards the 6 o'clock direction, possibly as a result of gravity.

Conclusions Gravitational forces may influence cell migration in vitro. This could be of significance in the planning of limbal transplantation, because a superior graft may be more likely to succeed than a gravitationally challenged inferior graft.

  • Cornea
  • gravity
  • limbal stem cell growth

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval for this study was obtained from the local ethics dommittee no 07/H0403/140.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.