Aim To evaluate the effect of gravity on corneal epithelial cell migration in vitro. Methods Fourteen donor peripheral corneoscleral rims were used. Twenty explants were chosen of which 10 were placed vertically and 10 were placed horizontally during culture. Analyses were performed to investigate the effect of gravity on epithelial growth by measuring the extent of epithelial cell growth above and below the horizontal meridian and counting the total number of cells using a haemocytometer. Results There was no statistically significant difference in cell growth between the explants that were placed horizontally and vertically. However, in the vertical explant group the cells grew preferentially towards the 6 o'clock direction, possibly as a result of gravity. Conclusions Gravitational forces may influence cell migration in vitro. This could be of significance in the planning of limbal transplantation, because a superior graft may be more likely to succeed than a gravitationally challenged inferior graft.
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