Accessibility to and Quality of Human Eye Tissue for Research: A Cross-Sectional Survey of ARVO Members.
Purpose: To assess experiences of vision scientists concerning the availability, quality, and documentation of human eye tissue for research, and to elicit researcher feedback about the establishment of an online portal that pairs eye bank capabilities with researcher needs. Methods: An online survey was designed by a working group of vision scientists and eye bank personnel and sent to members of ARVO. Results: A total of 407 responses were received from across ARVO scientific sections and career stages. Most respondents report typically obtaining human eye tissue from their local eye bank (57%). Almost half (43%) find it "difficult" or "very difficult" to get an adequate quantity of human eye tissue for their research, and 88% report that they would use more human eye tissue if it were more accessible. Regarding tissue quality, 43% of respondents regularly limit the scope of their work due to difficulty obtaining tissue that meets their needs, and almost half (43%) indicate that they question their findings due to tissue quality at least sometimes. Respondents uniformly desire more documentation about ocular tissue than they typically receive. Most (62%) would "definitely" or "very likely" use a proposed online resource to facilitate connections between eye banks and researchers. Conclusions: Vision scientists report difficulty in obtaining human eye tissue with the quality and clinical documentation required for their research. An online portal may better help pair researcher needs and eye bank capabilities.
Stamer, WD; Williams, AM; Pflugfelder, S; Coupland, SE
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