Eye banks retrieve and store eyes for cornea transplants and research. The first eye bank was founded in 1944. Currently, in the United States, eye banks provide tissue for about 46,000 cornea transplants each year to treat conditions such as keratoconus and corneal scarring.
Which part of the eye can be donated?
As it turns out, only one part of the eye can be transplanted. Medical science has no way to transplant whole eyes. When someone receives an “eye transplant,” they are being given a donor cornea, the clear front part of the eye.
How long the donated eyes can be stored?
The Eye-Bank does keep a “bank” of tissue in its laboratory. Fortunately, cornea tissue can be stored for up to 14 days before it must be used for transplant. However, since the demand for ocular tissue is so great most donor tissue is distributed within three or four days after its arrival.