■ BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Graft harvesting for Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) occurs manually and demonstrates surgical difficulties. In the current study, a mechanical automated technique for preparing a donor Descemet membrane (DM) carrying autologous endothelium for DMEK was evaluated. ■ MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten rabbit corneas were placed on an artificial anterior chamber and mechanical separation of the DM was conducted using an Epi-keratome (Senturium; Norwood Abbey EyeCare, Victoria, Australia). All DM specimens were properly fixated and optical microscopy was performed. squf; RESULTS: DM separation was achieved in a controlled fashion in 7 of 10 eyes. As demonstrated by optical microscopy of the specimens, no corneal stroma was attached on the DM, whereas the endothelial layer was preserved in several areas. ■ CONCLUSION: Automated separation of the DM can be achieved using an Epi-keratome. Additional studies and improvements of the current technique are needed to draw final conclusions.
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