Seeing Better Through Someone Else’s Eyes



What is a cornea?


Patient Perspective

New Technology

Synthetic Corneas


Immunology, Rejection, and Testing

Obtaining Donor Corneas


Demographics and Economics





The eye is the window of the human body through which it feels its way and enjoys the beauty of the world.

-Leonardo Da Vinci

Before Cornea Transplant After Cornea Transplant    

Doctor's perform over 40,000 corneal transplants a year. They are by far the most common and successful transplant operation, including heart, kidneys, lungs.

Corneal treatments have a relatively lengthy history. Galen, a Greek physican and the founder of experimental physiology, addressed the issue of restoring corneal scarring as early as 160 AD. The first attempts at corneal transplants took place over 1600 years later. In 1824, attempts were made by a student named Franz Riesinger to transplant rabbit corneas into humans. These attempts were unsuccessful. Although healing occured, none of the corneas remained clear. Later in 1837, Samuel Bigger, attempted a corneal transplant from a lab gazelle to another gazelle. This procedure was successful and the animal showed signs of vision after the surgery.

The world's first successful human cornea transplant was performed December 7th 1905, by Dr. Eduard Zirm, making it one of the first types of transplant surgery succesfully performed. Since then, doctors have tried and refined multiple techniques, devices, and medications that have led to the highly successful prodecures we have today.

This page was created by Casey Dougan, Greg Hill Nicole Villaverde, Joshua Hill

This page has been created as a final project for Organ Replacement (BI108) at Brown University