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Cornea. 2014 Dec;33(12):1355-62. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000276.

Cryopreservation of extracted corneal lenticules after small incision lenticule extraction for potential use in human subjects.

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*Department of Phaco and Refractive Surgery, Nethradhama SuperSpeciality Eye Hospital, Bangalore, India; and †Department of Reproductive Biology, Cryostemcell (K) Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, India.



To describe the technique of cryopreservation of corneal lenticules extracted after small incision refractive lenticule extraction (ReLEx SMILE) and initial results of femtosecond laser intrastromal lenticular implantation for hyperopia.


Lenticules were collected from patients undergoing ReLEx SMILE for the correction of myopia and subjected to a tissue processing technique and cryopreservation. These lenticules were subsequently used to treat 8 hyperopic eyes and 1 aphakic eye. A femtosecond laser was used to create a pocket into each patient's cornea, followed by implantation of a cryopreserved lenticule. The patients were monitored through follow-up examinations for a mean 155.4 days (38-310 days).


The mean interval from storage of lenticules to removal from liquid nitrogen was 96 days (range, 19-178 days). Mean spherical equivalent of hyperopic eyes treated was +4.50 ± 1.1 diopter (D). Mean keratometry and pachymetry changed from preoperative 43.9 D and 531.6 μm to 47.4 D and 605.2 μm, respectively, postoperatively. Mean residual spherical equivalent for hyperopic eyes was +0.6 D and +4.1 D for the aphakic eye. None of the eyes showed evidence of rejection or loss of best-corrected visual acuity at the end of the follow-up period.


The cryopreservation technique seems to be a safe method of long-term storage of refractive lenticules extracted after ReLEx SMILE for use in allogeneic human subjects. It may potentially be a safe and effective alternative to excimer laser ablation for hyperopia because of the low risks of regression, haze, flap-related complications, postoperative dry eye, and higher-order aberrations.Clinical Trial Registration-URL: Unique identifier: CTRI/2014/01/004331.

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