The first successful solid organ transplant was the cornea in Moravia in 1905. However both science and clinical tools then available were unable to allow further advances. The discovery of the natural barriers to transplantation enabled understanding of the biology of transplants and now livers, hearts, kidneys and corneas are routinely transplanted.
In ophthalmology the advances in microsurgery and microscopes have led to better visual outcomes and less loss of donor organs. Indeed it is now possible to transplant each individual layer of the cornea.
These breathtaking procedures have revolutionised the treatment of blinding diseases of the eye.
Attention is now turning to developing techniques for transplanting retinal tissues opening up potential hope for those suffering from macular degeneration, the commonest cause of loss if sight in the elderly population.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/transplantation-and-the-eye
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.