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Corneal endothelium is the innermost sensitive layer of the transparent cornea. Regeneration of the endothelial cell layers has been a difficult job and it is believed that the Corneal endothelium doesn't regenerate after an injury.

Close to 50% of the corneal transplant indicated patients have endothelial problems. We have started a joint research work with Joseph Eye Hospital, Trichy on finding a solution to ENDOTHELIAL problems of the cornea. The MoU signing ceremony was held on the 01st of March 06.


Approximately 27000 people (2003-04 data) register for corneal transplantation every year in India, but only 2500 or less could receive corneal transplantation, due to lack of adequate donors or healthy corneas. Among the remaining 24500 patients close to 40% suffer from only Corneal epithelial disorder, to whom the outcome of our research would mean a lot with the recovery of their vision.

Endothelium forms the innermost of the five layers of cornea and is just one layer thick. It functions as a pump to supply nutrients from the aqueous humor (fluid filling the back side of the cornea, the area called Anterior chamber of Eye) to the epithelial cells through the stroma layer. Any degeneration or injury to the endothelium is likely to result in opacity of that area involved.

This project apart from the above topics would also concentrate in developing ocular cell lines of various pathology for research purposes.


Fig.1 Anatomy of the eye

(Illustration not to proportions)


::CESBANK:: India's First Corneal Endothelial Stem Cell Bank, an initiative of NCRM


NCRM has got the know how of growing Corneal Endothelial Cells as precursors spheres from Dr Amano et al of Tokyo University (1) and have in addition developed a novel methodology to transport them in varying climatic conditions taking upto 72Hrs in India(2). Now a Nanotechnology based solution is worked jointly with collaborators to make the clinical application of this in humans feasible. With these developments NCRM envisages to start the worlds first Corneal Endothelial Stem Cell Bank (CESBANK)

NCRM is now collaborating with (1) Joseph Eye Hospitl,Trichy (2) SIRSA, (3) The Light Eye Hospital, Dharmapuri (4) Aditya Jyot Hospital, Mumbai(5) Rajan Eye Care, Chennai and (6) Dharsan Eye Care, Chennai in this work.

(1) Yokoo S, Yamagami S, Yanagi Y, Uchida S, Mimura T, Usui T, Amano S. “Human corneal endothelial cell precursors isolated by sphere-forming assay”. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005;46(5):1626-31.

(2) H.N. Madhavan, B.Sudha, G.Sitalakshmi, S.KrishnaKumar, Y.Mori, H.Yoshioka, S.Abraham."Comparative Study on GrowthCharacteristics of Cadaveric Human Corneal Limbal Stem Cells in Mebiol Gel (a Synthetic Polymer) and on Human Amniotic Membrane." Poster presentation ; 2006 Annual meeting of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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