Technical feasibility of isolated Bowman layer graft preparation by femtosecond laser: a pilot study



To evaluate the technical feasibility of isolated Bowman layer (BL) graft preparation by femtosecond laser (FSL) and to compare the ultrastructural morphology to manually dissected grafts.


Five whole globes were placed in custom-made eye holders and debrided of epithelium. After programming a dissection depth of 20 μm, the FSL was docked into position and 5 isolated BL grafts were created. From 5 additional globes, corneoscleral buttons were procured, mounted in artificial anterior chambers, and stripped of BL via the previously described manual technique. Three specimens from both series were randomly selected and assigned to transmission electron microscopy for ultrastructural evaluation and thickness measurements.


All dissections were uneventful and 10 total grafts were produced: 5 by FSL and 5 by manual dissection. Mean graft thickness was 37 (±8.6) μm (n = 3) for the FSL group and 11.7 (±1.6) μm (n = 3) for the manually dissected group. Transmission electron microscopy revealed a thick but relatively smooth posterior cut edge in the FSL group, versus a virtually isolated BL with irregular rests of dispersed stroma in the manually dissected group.


Femtosecond laser may have potential for harvesting intact BL and with a smooth posterior surface, but accompanied by variable amounts of anterior stroma owing to technical limitations.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2017; 27(6): 675 - 677




Jack S. Parker, Forest Huls, Elizabeth Cooper, Paul Graves, Esther A. Groeneveld-van Beek, Jessica Lie, Gerrit R.J. Melles

Article History


Financial support: Research partially funded through the Eye Bank Association of America’s 2015 Richard Lindstrom Grant.
Conflict of interest: Dr. Melles is a consultant for DORC International/Dutch Ophthalmic USA and SurgiCube International. Dr. Parker is a consultant for DORC International/Dutch Ophthalmic USA and Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems.

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  •  Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, Rotterdam - The Netherlands
  •  Melles Cornea Clinic Rotterdam, Rotterdam - The Netherlands
  •  Parker Cornea, Birmingham, Alabama - USA
  •  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan - USA
  •  Alabama Eye Bank, Birmingham, Alabama - USA
  • Amnitrans Eye Bank Rotterdam, Rotterdam - The Netherlands

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