Non-invasive collection and examination of human corneal epithelial cells

Peterson, Rachael Claire, Gorbet, Maud, Cira, Daniel, Amos, Christopher, Woods, Craig A. and Fonn, Desmond 2011, Non-invasive collection and examination of human corneal epithelial cells, Optometry and vision science, vol. 88, no. 11, pp. 1317-1325, doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31822c095d.

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Title Non-invasive collection and examination of human corneal epithelial cells
Author(s) Peterson, Rachael Claire
Gorbet, Maud
Cira, Daniel
Amos, Christopher
Woods, Craig A.ORCID iD for Woods, Craig A.
Fonn, Desmond
Journal name Optometry and vision science
Volume number 88
Issue number 11
Start page 1317
End page 1325
Total pages 9
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2011-11
ISSN 1040-5488
Keyword(s) corneal epithelial cells
non-invasive cell collection
corneal staining
corneal irrigation
ghost cells
Summary Purpose. To report the development of a new apparatus for non-invasive collection of human corneal epithelial cells.

Methods. Previous methods of non-invasive, irrigative corneal cell collection resulted in low cell yields limiting potential analysis. A new ocular surface cell collection apparatus (OSCCA) was designed to collect more epithelial cells from direct irrigation of the corneal surface to allow for clinical comparisons. Forty-five samples were obtained (unilateral or bilateral over seven visits) from five human participants. Cell yield, size, phenotype, and corneal staining (prior and post eye wash) were examined.

Results. On average 364 ± 230 epithelial cells were collected from the cornea per eye. Epithelial cell sizes ranged from 8.21 to 51.69 μm in diameter, and 67.30 to 2098.85 μm2 area. The proportion of corneal specific cells collected per sample was 75 ± 14% as determined by positive K3 expression with AE5. On average, 77 ± 0.2% of epithelial cells harvested were nucleated, the remainder were non-nucleated ghost cells. Corneal staining was reduced in the OSCCA-washed vs. contralateral non-washed eyes (p = 0.02).

Conclusions. The OSCCA allows collection of human corneal epithelial cells with significantly higher yields, and greater specificity than previously reported. Reduced corneal staining observed post eye-wash demonstrated the safety of the technique, and its ability to remove cells directly from the corneal surface. The OSCCA could provide an objective non-invasive method of investigating pathological changes, effects of topical therapeutics, and impact of contact lenses and care-solutions of the cells of the ocular surface.
Language eng
DOI 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31822c095d
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, American Academy of Optometry
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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