Basic Research:

1.Development of a novel methodology for transportation of corneal endothelial buttons in varying Indian tropical conditions

2. Invention of nanosheet- scaffold based technique to transfer the in-vitro expanded corneal endothelial precursors to a disease affected eye

3. Successful in vitro expansion of corneal limbal stem cells without using feeder layers and amniotic membrane

4. In-vitro expansion of human buccal mucosal epithelium, which can be used for bilateral epithelial limbal diseases

5. Technology to establish CESBANK, world's first Corneal endothelial stem cell Bank

Potential Clinical applications:

There are approximately 6.8 million people who have corneal blindness with vision less than 6/60 in at least one eye in a country like India alone and of these, about 1 million have bilateral corneal blindness.The proportion of the diseasesd population remains almost the same in many of the developing nations in the tropics. If the present trend continues, it is expected that the number of individuals with corneal blindness in India will increase to 8.4 million in 2010 and 10.6 million by 2020.

Close to 50% of the corneal transplant indicated patients have endothelial problems. In India, nearly 3.5 million good quality donor corneas are required to restore vision in all the eyes that can be treated with keratoplasty. However, only approximately 20,000 corneas or eyes are collected annually, while every year, approximately 40,000 new cases of corneal blindness due to endothelial diseases are added to the existing backlog, creating a huge disparity between demand and supply.

“An Eye for Eyes” concept is aimed to offer a solution to this disparity wherein one cadaver donor eye can be used for many recipients with corneal endothelial disorders thereby providing a solution to standalone corneal endothelial diseases.

Although cataract is responsible for nearly 20 million of the 45 million blind people in the world, the next major cause is trachoma, which is responsible for blindness in 4.9 million people, mainly due to corneal scarring and vascularization. Ocular trauma and corneal ulceration are also significant causes of corneal blindness and may be responsible for 1.5 to 2.0 million new cases of uniocular blindness every year. Infectious conditions such as trachoma and corneal ulcer are common in the developing world, whereas noninfectious entities like corneal dystrophies and pseudophakic bullous keratopathy are more common causes of corneal blindness in developed countries.

In an attempt to offer solution to these epithelial problems, CESBANK has two milestone accomplishments:

a. Corneal Limbal stem cell transplantation from one healthy eye to the other diseased eye in case of unilateral limbal stem cell deficiency

b. Buccal mucosal epithelial cell expansion for bilateral limbal stem cell deficiency

Awards and Patents

  1. A method for cultivating cells derived from corneal limbal tissue. Patent No.239350. Granted by The Patent Office, Government of India. Granted Date: 16th of March, 2010.
  2. Corneal endothelial precursor cell transplantation methodology employing a Nanocomposite gel sheet. Patent No.5863089. Granted by the Japan Patent Office. Granted Date: 8th of January, 2016