New biohoods double LEDS productivity

New equipment purchased thanks to support from the Victorian Lions Foundation is simplifying how tissue is processed at LEDS.


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The Lions Eye Donation Service (LEDS) have purchased essential equipment for the eye bank that will help them more efficiently process eye tissue donations for sight-saving corneal transplant surgeries.

Head of LEDS Dr Heather Machin says two new biohoods provide their team of donor coordinators double the close-to sterile environments needed for handling and preparing precious donor eye tissue.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Victorian Lions Foundation (VLF), we’ve replaced our old biohood with two new smaller hoods that upgrade our tissue preparation facilities to the latest industry standards.”

The previous biohood had been in use for over 20 years and, while still perfectly functional, only allowed one donor coordinator to perform a single task at any given time.

“Having two biohoods means that two donor coordinators can work at the same time – which will improve our team’s workflow and most importantly mean getting more tissue out to where it’s needed,” says Dr Machin.

Doubling productivity: The new biohoods are expanding the eye bank’s capabilities.
Advancing eye banking

A biohood is an enclosed cabinet that prevents contamination and enables LEDS’ donor coordinators to safely examine and prepare donor eye tissue.

“It has special functions that change airflow, so bacteria or fibres aren’t coming in and settling on the eye tissue,” says Dr Machin.

“The two new biohoods have different airflows, which means we can do different tasks at different times.”

These tasks include using the latest techniques to cut corneal tissue – the window of our eye – in preparation for corneal graft surgeries, or even storing donor eye tissue for future use in bottles of a pink liquid known as organ culture.

The arrival of the new biohoods represent the latest in a series of eye banking innovations that have happened at LEDS since it was established in 1991.

LEDS was the first Australian eye bank to introduce organ culture preservation in 2005 – extending the time of corneal preservation from seven days up to 30 days.

“The biohood also gives us the clean environment needed to fill the bottles with organ culture medium, so they can be stored, ready for when they’re needed,” says Dr Machin.

The LEDS team send the precious gift off for urgent surgeries at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and to transplant facilities across the state.

For someone with a damaged cornea, a corneal transplant is often their last hope of restoring vision.

Dr Machin says the new biohoods will have a significant impact.

“This wonderful gift further strengthens our close ties with the VLF, who have been strong supporters of our vital work from the beginning.”

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