Your impact 2023

Banking on eye tissue

Your donation has funded a new tissue retrieval kit for the Lions Eye Donation Service, which will provide researchers with better access to donated eye tissue.


Eye-News emails are sent to
subscribers once a month

Share this article


The generous gift of an end-of-life eye tissue donation can help restore someone’s sight through corneal transplantation.

However, not all donations are suitable for transplant. Instead, they can be used in important medical research.

Tissue that is used for research helps scientists better understand eye diseases, and safely test and develop new medicines and technologies that aim to prevent or treat vision loss.

At CERA and across the research field, donated eye tissue plays a vital part in cutting-edge research to develop new treatments for glaucoma, inherited retinal disease, diabetic eye disease and other sight disorders.

Thanks to your support, researchers now have better access to donated eye tissue through the purchase of a new tissue retrieval kit for the Lions Eye Donation Service – CERA’s eye bank.

This new kit will prevent the eye bank from declining research-only donations, which can happen if existing kits are being used elsewhere for transplant, or are being re-sterilised.

Importantly, the kit will ensure that the eye donation service can build its research-only donation arm without impacting existing transplant donation services.

The Lions Eye Donation Service establishes consent for eye donation, coordinates and recovers the donation, and then evaluates and distributes donated corneas and other eye tissue. It is a vital service for the advancement of eye research and development at CERA and beyond.

“I wish to express my sincere thanks to CERA’s generous supporters for funding the new tissue retrieval kit,” says Dr Heather Machin, Head of the Lions Eye Donation Service. “Our team is truly grateful for this valuable addition to our resources.

“The kit will enable us to support Victorians wishing to donate at the end of their life, and provide a greater quantity of eye tissue for medical science, which allows researchers to analyse bigger data sets and strengthen the accuracy and reliability of their results.

“This research could lead to new treatments that potentially benefit thousands of people with vision loss in future.’’

Return to Your Impact 2023