Demonstration of Hyaluronic Acid Binding to Corneal Endothelial Cells in Human Eye-Bank Eyes

Date:Feb 11, 2018

Objective: To study the effect of exogenously applied hyaluronic acid (HA) on corneal endothelial cells in experimental 

cataract surgery in eye-bank eyes. Design: Hyaluronic acid is endogenous to the eye. Histochemically a thin layer of 

hyaluronic acid can be observed coating the inner surface of corneal endothelial cells. After standardized experimental 

cataract surgery the endothelial cells were studied with histochemical technique. Results: When instilled in the anterior 

chamber, HA binds to the endothelial cells. The HA can be removed from the endothelial cells by increasing volumes of 

irrigation/aspiration. If reinjected into the anterior chamber, the HA will again bind and protect the endothelial cells. A 

clear endothelial morphologic difference can be shown when surgical trauma is inflicted on the cornea with and without the 

protection of HA. Conclusion: The experiments demonstrate that HA binds to and protects the corneal endothelial cells. The 

results also indicate that when exogenous HA is irrigated/aspirated from the anterior chamber at the end of the procedure, 

a thin layer of HA remains on the endothelial cells.

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