Purpose: Although essential for development of ocular therapeutics, the quality and quantity of human donor eyes for research have been on the decline. To streamline procurement protocols, provide better medical documentation of tissue, and improve freshness and number of eyes, a pilot cooperative program was undertaken between the Duke University Eye Center and Miracles In Sight Eye Bank. Methods: For research eye donors who expire at Duke University Hospital, age restrictions to procurement were lifted, access to donors' electronic medical records was granted to researchers, and eye tissue was delivered directly to scientists. The number of eye pairs received per month and the time from death to arrival in the laboratory were documented, and independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the number of paired eyes and the death-to-laboratory time before and after implementation of the program. A cost analysis of the program was also conducted. Results: Implementation of the program decreased the time from death to arrival in the laboratory from an average of 22.1 ± 1.5 h (n = 22) to 11.6 ± 0.8 h (n = 75) for a pair of eyes (P < 0.0001). Moreover, the number of whole eye pairs increased from 1.57 ± 0.32 to 3.26 ± 0.27 donors per month (P = 0.0019). Cost analysis indicates that our program is financially viable and sustainable for the eye bank. Conclusions: The Duke-Miracles In Sight Program implemented a number of operational changes that resulted in improved quantity and quality of ocular tissue to researchers. Such a model appears feasible for adoption between other eye centers and eye banks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)