Full-field Optical Coherence Microscopy for Histology-like Analysis of Stromal Features in Corneal Grafts

Kristina Irsch, Kate Grieve, Marie Borderie, Djida Ghoubay, Cristina Georgeon, Vincent Borderie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The quality of donor corneal stroma, which makes up about 90% of total corneal thickness, is likely to be one of the main, if not the major, limiting factor(s) for success of deep anterior lamellar and penetrating keratoplasty. These are surgical procedures that involve replacing part or all of the diseased corneal layers, respectively, by donated tissue, the graft, taken from a recently deceased individual. However, means to evaluate stromal quality of corneal grafts in eye banks are limited and lack the capability of high-resolution quantitative assessment of disease indicators. Full-field optical coherence microscopy (FF-OCM), permitting high-resolution 3D imaging of fresh or fixed ex vivo biological tissue samples, is a non-invasive technique well suited for donor cornea assessment. Here we describe a method for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of corneal stroma using FF-OCM. The protocol has been successfully applied to normal donor corneas and pathological corneal buttons, and can be used to identify healthy and pathologic features on both the macroscopic and microscopic level, thereby facilitating the detection of stromal disorders that could compromise the outcome of keratoplasty. By improving the graft quality control, this protocol has the potential to result in better selection (and rejection) of donor tissues and hence decreased graft failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere57104
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number188
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Imaging
  • cornea
  • corneal storage
  • corneal transplantation
  • donor tissue
  • keratoconus
  • keratocyte
  • microscopy
  • optical coherence tomography
  • stroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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