University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Information for VA Wet Lab Session 7

Preparing a Dextran Solution to Clear Cadaver Corneas

Making Up a 10% Dextran Solution:

  • To make 40 mL, measure out 4 grams of Dextran (40,000 MW, Sigma #31389) in a 50 mL conical vial.
  • Add sterile water up to 40 mL and then dissolve the dextran, using the vortex mixer.
  • Once dissolved, the total volume will be less than 40 mLs so add water to bring the volume up to 40 mL.

Using the Dextran Solution:

  • Using a 30 G needle, inject the 10% Dextran solution into the anterior chamber of a cadaver eye.
  • After filling the anterior chamber, place the cornea into a well of 10% Dextran solution
    • (i.e so there will be Dextran on both sides of the cornea - from the anterior chamber side and from the epithelial side).


Swinger CA, Kornmehl EW. Dehydration of post-mortem eyes for practice and experimental surgery. Ophthalmic Surg. 1985 Mar;16(3):182-3. PubMed PMID: 3991116.

last updated: 9/3/2013