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Education and Research

Improving vision and preventing blindness

At the Eye Bank, tissue that is ineligible for corneal transplant is utilized for education and research. Eye donors can help researchers understand the reasons why eye diseases develop, and help advance treatments to improve vision and prevent blindness.


Tissue may be used for training by ophthalmology residents and fellows to practice surgical procedures before they perform surgeries on actual patients. We work with students from University of Toronto, and other academic institutions across Ontario with ophthalmology programs. It is also used to train Trillium Gift of Life Network staff on eye tissue recovery including the removal of the cornea from the whole eye. This allows corneas to be put into preservation media sooner, which helps preserve eye tissues, resulting in a higher quality product.


Eye tissue is utilized in research to improve corneal transplantation; to study ocular diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, a rare, genetic disorder that involves the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina; and for the study of neurological diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and ALS.

Upcoming Eye Bank research includes the investigation of a Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) injection delivery system. This will allow the Eye Bank to prepare eye tissue to enable surgeons to simply inject tissue into the eye, which will minimize operating room time and maximize the number of surgeries surgeons can perform.

If you have any questions about the education and research services provided by the Eye Bank, contact us today.

Related links

Register as a donor
Eye tissue
Birth tissue