A Simple Inner-Stopper Guarded Trephine for Creation of Uniform Keratectomy Wounds in Rodents


Purpose: Creating controllable, reproducible keratectomy wounds in rodent corneas can be a challenge due to their small size, thickness, and the lack of usual tools available for human eyes such as a vacuum trephine. The purpose of this work is to provide a consistent, reproducible corneal stromal defect in rats using a simple, economical, and customized inner-stopper guarded trephine.

Methods: The inner-stopper guarded trephine is used to induce a circular wound in rat corneas. After trephination, the corneal flap can be removed by manual dissection using a blunt spatula. We used optical coherence topography (OCT) to measure the defect wound depth induced in ex vivo rat eyes.

Results: Despite a minor learning curve, this simple device enables depth control, reduces variability of manual keratectomy wound depth in rats, and decreases the risk for corneal perforation during keratectomy. Corneal defect creation was highly reproducible across different researchers and was independent of their surgical training.

Conclusion: This inner-stopper guarded trephine can be utilized and applied to preclinical testing of a wide range of corneal wound healing therapies, including but not limited to biotherapeutics, corneal prosthetics, and regenerative technologies.


Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK), Corneal Defect Model, Inner-stopper Guarded Trephine, Keratectomy, Rat Corneal Wound Model, Trephine Design

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