The grafting technique is schematically depicted in Fig. 14. Instruments are heat-sterilized. Grafts are saved in sterile saline. Animals are ideally pretreated by one drop of a 1 % atropine solution to the cornea of every recipient eye 5 min-5 hr before grafting. This ensures maximal dilation of the pupil and can hold the iris in place after puncture of the cornea. Without atropine there is a risk of injuring the host iris during grafting and of prolapse of the iris through the opening in the cornea immediately afterward. If crucial, however, the grafting procedure will be carried by means of without atropine pretreatment. An additional precaution is to cut the vibrissae overlaying the operation space so as to avoid contamination of sterilized instruments. A pretreated rat is next anesthetized with ether (or any brief-lasting anesthetic) and placed on its side beneath a stereoscopic microscope that magnifies roughly 5 ×. Fig. 14. Schematic illustration of the intraocular transplantation process. For details, see textual content.

To open the cornea a pointed sharp edge is necessary. We use pieces of brittle razor blades damaged at acute angles and held with a hemostat. Such edges can be used for about one hundred fifty corneas after which they needs to be discarded. It needs to be famous that the rat cornea is a durable tissue and that any knife that’s used for more than some 150 eye openings needs thorough cleaning from sticky corneal debris, and sharpening. The reduce by the cornea is an important step, and it is recommended that this step is practiced rigorously on dead animals before grafting is attempted, so as to avoid pointless hurt to the recipient animals and lack of graft tissue. The head is held firmly, eyelids slightly retracted with thumb and index finger, and the index finger is held towards the dorsal side of the eyeball. The knife blade is held horizontally, the point inserted into the cornea near its vertex, and a cut made in a medial direction with an angle of approximately 30° in opposition to the cornea to assure a sufficiently giant contact area between the cut surfaces during healing.

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