The Barron Vacuum Donor Cornea Punch® are marking punches that incorporate a vacuum to hold the donor cornea firmly in place during the resection of the transplant tissue from donor corneas. These donor punches build on BPI’s experience with the design and manufacture of vacuum trephines and non-vacuum donor cornea punches. The instrument is delivered in a sterile, hermetically sealed tray with Tyvek lid. They are disposable and intended for single use.
The Barron Vacuum Donor Cornea Punch is comprised of 5 components:
- Cutting Block (Base)
- Top with Blade
- Seating Ring
- Vacuum Syringe
- Gentian Violet Ink Pen
The cutting block (or base) of the punch features a circular groove and 4 holes for aspirating the epithelial side of the cornea. These small holes are also used to mark the cornea as described below. There are 4 larger precisely located corner holes that accept aligning pins that are in the punch top. A small-diameter, flexible silicone tube is attached to side of the base so that a vacuum can be created with the hand-operated vacuum syringe.
The punch top contains a stainless steel blade that is matched in diameter to the small vacuum holes in the base. Four stainless steel guideposts align with four corresponding holes in the cutting block, which accurately centers the blade over the donor cornea.
The seating ring is used to ensure complete contact between the peripheral cornea and the vacuum groove so that a perfectly round button can be cut from the center of the cornea.
The vacuum donor punch has been redesigned to incorporate a nylon top that has openings to provide a view of the donor tissue as it is being cut. This enables the surgeon to verify the correct seating of the top, and the desired location of the cut before performing the trephination.
The blade of the Barron Vacuum Donor Cornea Punch® has also been improved to provide a sharper and cleaner cut. It is fabricated from the hardest stainless steel that is available, and its manufacture employs a proprietary, multiple stage honing of the blade edge to give an unsurpassed sharpness. The blades in the BPI punches were modified in 2020 to use a thin wall of 0.13 mm thick, which provides a razor-sharp cutting edge. Unlike punches from other suppliers that use a bent razor blade, the Barron Donor Punches have a perfectly circular and uninterrupted cutting edge. In addition, the single bevel edge ensures the inside wall of the blade that is adjacent to the harvested tissue is perfectly vertical, thereby minimizing tension and distortion of the endothelial tissue during the trephination.
The well of the cutting block has four small holes that may be inked with a sterile gentian violet marking pen (included) prior to placement of the donor cornea in order to identify the four quadrants of the cornea for cardinal suture alignment in the recipient bed. When the vacuum is applied to the cutting block, the epithelium of the donor cornea is pulled firmly against the 4 holes and the gentian violet ink is transferred to the cornea.
The Barron Vacuum Donor Cornea Punches come in 13 sizes, ranging from 6.0 mm in diameter to 9.5 mm. There are two families of vacuum trephines that can be used in conjunction with the donor punches: the Hessburg-Barron Vacuum Trephine? and the Barron Radial Vacuum Trephine®.
The Barron Vacuum Donor Cornea Punches are sold only by Katena Products. Contact Katena Products to order.