Over the past decade-plus, the NIIOS R&D team led by Dr. Gerrit Melles has made significant contributions to the field of corneal transplantation.

Dr. Melles introduced posterior lamellar keratoplasty (PLK) and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) in the late 1990s. After founding NIIOS in 2003, he and the NIIOS R&D team went on to further refine posterior lamellar keratoplasty into Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). The latter technique has since become the gold standard for the treatment of endothelial diseases. More recently, NIIOS R&D introduced Bowman layer transplantation as a new treatment option for cases of advanced keratoconus.

The introduction of new transplantation techniques is always accompanied by a thorough evaluation of the clinical results and, if necessary, the development of new surgical instruments. Clinical evaluation has already provided valuable insights into issues such as endothelial cell migration and the re-endothelialization of denuded stroma, and it remains an ongoing focus of our research. The detailed evaluation of clinical results also enables us to find new approaches to minimizing postoperative complications.

Another important focus of our current research activities comprises the ultrastructural analysis of corneal tissue, endothelial cell culture studies, and the development of improved ophthalmic staining solutions.