A tissue may be defined as nonviable if the cells have been killed or severely damaged. On the other hand, the extracellular tissue may very well remain intact after this treatment. From the field of general biology, we know several procedures, such as freezing or dehydration, that can be expected to have this effect; such tissue can subsequently be preserved in the dehydrated or deep-frozen state for a long time with only minimal autolysis. Lately, these aspects have become of significant importance in the field of keratoplasty.
Can nonviable donor material be used in penetrating keratoplasty? The answer is no at the present time. The dead grafts swell tremendously and finally become scarred as was shown by Smelser and Ozanics (1946), Katzin (1947), and Leopold and Adler (1947). For lamellar grafts, on the other hand, favorable results have been achieved after subjecting the donor tissue to dehydration which kills the
SWEEBE EC, DOHLMAN CH. Nonviable Donor Material for Lamellar Keratoplasty. Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;66(3):343–346. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.00960010345009
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