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Facilitating Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty

Team Members:
  • Eric Chiang
  • Kali Barnes
  • Stephanie Cai
  • Conan Chen
  • Anshul Subramanya
  • Akash Chaurasia
  • Allison Rosen
  • Parth Vora
  • Allen Eghrari, MD


Every year, over 75,000 corneal transplants, or keratoplasties, are performed. Of all keratoplasties, a large proportion are partial keratoplasties, which in turn have two varieties: Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) and Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK). DMEK is a much more effective surgery providing higher patient outcomes and quicker recovery times. However, the transplanted DMEK graft is very difficult to manipulate; as a result, surgeons are hesitant to adopt the procedure due to its high variability in operation time and a steep learning curve. To alleviate these issues, we have developed both a novel DMEK graft delivery device that complements a new workflow optimized for this procedure. In this new workflow, high risk steps that are typically undertaken by the surgeon are instead offloaded to eye bank technicians. We have thus designed our injector with both the technician and surgeon in mind as stakeholders.

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