LaMEK preloaded – ready-to-use corneal graft for DMEK

LaMEK preloaded – ready-to-use corneal graft for DMEK, PEI.G.12063.01.1 is already the second tissue preparation specially prepared for DMEK and approved by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). DGFG is the only institution authorised to market this in Germany. LaMEK preloaded is based on LaMEK, which has also been approved by the PEI and which DGFG has been distributing in Germany since 2015.

For optimal vitality of the donor tissue to be transplanted, Prof. Dr. Peter Szurman (Sulzbach Eye Clinic), together with the DGFG and Geuder AG, developed the transport and injection system (DMEK RAPID) for the pre-prepared corneal lamella, which in future can be ordered as LaMEK preloaded from the DGFG.

With the LaMEK preloaded, the descemet lamella together with its endothelial cells, which provide clear vision, can be implanted directly into the patient in the preloaded implantation cartridge as gently as possible. Without additional manipulation leading to cell loss. DMEK can thus be performed even more easily, quickly and, above all, safely.

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The DMEK RAPID system (Geuder AG) is a disposable system for shipping and injection of the donor lamella. A LaMEK preloaded is intended for a single implantation in one patient. Just like LaMEK, the indications are corneal diseases such as Fuchs endothelial dystrophy or bullous keratopathy.

Doctors receive lamellae in the transport cartridge quality-tested and ready for use in the patient. The DGFG ensures standardised manufacturing processes and the highest level of safety. All tissue banks in the network have certified and officially monitored clean rooms. Preparation always takes place under aseptic conditions. This safety is reflected in the high success rate of over 95 percent of successful operations.

DMEK – even simpler

With the help of the LaMEK preloaded, endothelial corneal diseases will be easier to treat in the future – even on an outpatient basis. The transport cartridge (credits to Szurman), the so-called DMEK RAPID system, enables a n-touch injection of the LaMEK without further manipulation of the donor tissue. LaMEK preloaded offers surgeons a great quality advantage.

Watch: corneal transplantation with Preloaded DMEK RAPID® – LaMEK preloaded from the tissue bank

  • simple and safe feasibility of DMEK

  • less preparation time in the operating theatre

  • No risk of accidental damage in the operating theatre

  • standardised preparation under aseptic conditions by trained staff

  • microbiological control after preparation

  • supply on time and ready for usage

Costs and transport

For the supply of LaMEK preloaded, the DGFG charges a uniform tissue-dependent expense allowance, which covers all costs for donation, processing, transport and material. Delivery is carried out by overnight courier.

Good to know:

  • Surgery days usually Tuesday to Friday
  • Diameter 7-9 mm (standard 8.5 mm)
  • Minimum cell count for shipment: 2,000/mm²
  • Shipping takes place after the agreed surgery date
  • Safe shipping of the transport cartridge in the cell culture bottle

Pre-cut lamellae improve graft quality

DMEK is a highly specialised, minimally invasive surgical method with very good results in the treatment of endothelial corneal diseases. However, the required lamella preparation also stresses this sensitive tissue. If the preparation is done directly in the operating theatre immediately before the transplantation, the period of stressful surgery is prolonged. Cells may die. However, the longer the graft can rest after preparation, the more cells survive and can provide clear vision in the end.

Studies by an interdisciplinary research team in the DGFG network show that the pre-cutting of corneal lamellae in the tissue bank does not have a negative effect on graft quality. On the contrary: pre-cut lamellae contribute to graft improvement. The endothelial cells located on the descemet lamella can recover after a rest period between preparation and transplantation.