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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2014 Feb;62(2):130-5. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.116457.

Successful transportation of human corneal endothelial tissues without cool preservation in varying Indian tropical climatic conditions and in vitro cell expansion using a novel polymer.

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The Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH), Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Chennai, India; II Department of Surgery, Yamanashi University - School of Medicine, Chuo, Japan, .



Though the transplantation of human corneal endothelial tissue (CET) separated from cadaver cornea is in practice, its transportation has not been reported. We report the successful transportation of CET in varying Indian climatic conditions without cool preservation and the in vitro expansion of Human Corneal Endothelial Precursor Cells (HCEPCs) using a novel Thermo-reversible gelation polymer (TGP).


CET from cadaver corneas (n = 67), unsuitable for transplantation, were used. In phase I, CET was transported in Basal Culture Medium (Group I) and TGP (Group II) and in Phase II, in TGP cocktail alone, from three hospitals 250-2500 km away, to a central laboratory. The transportation time ranged from 6 h to 72 h and the outdoor temperature between 20°C and 41°C. On arrival, CET were processed, cells were expanded upto 30 days in basal culture medium (Group A) and TGP scaffold (Group B). Cell viability and morphology were documented and Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) characterization undertaken.


In Phase I, TGP yielded more viable cells (0.11 × 10(6) cells) than Group I (0.04 × 10(6) cells). In Phase II, the average cell count was 5.44 × 10(4) cells. During expansion, viability of HCEPCs spheres in TGP was maintained for a longer duration. The cells from both the groups tested positive for B-3 tubulin and negative for cytokeratins K3 and K12, thereby proving them to be HCEPCs.


TGP preserves the CET during transportation without cool preservation and supports in vitro expansion, with a higher yield of HCEPCs, similar to that reported in clinical studies.

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