In Which Animal Corneal Transplantation Was Developed

When vision is lost in an eye due to corneal damage or traumatic injury, a surgical procedure called corneal transplant or Keratoplasty is required to replace the damaged or diseased cornea. Today, corneal transplantation has become a most common type of human transplant surgery and millions of people are restoring their eyesight with the help of this medical procedure.

Rabbits have played an important role in various research studies of organ transplantations including corneal as these animals project similar physiology like humans. In 1824, a student named Franz Riesinger made an unsuccessful attempt to transplant rabbit corneas into humans and later in 1837, Samuel Bigger succeeded in his attempts using gazelles. Since then researchers made many attempts to refine the techniques, procedures and medications until finally in December 1905 Dr. Eduard Zirm successfully performed the world’s first human corneal transplantation.