University of Bristol

The CTS Bristol Eye Bank was set up in the early 1980s and has, to date, issued tissue for more than 30,000 corneal transplants in patients throughout the UK. The Eye Bank is part of the Department of Clinical Sciences in the University of Bristol and is funded by NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT), the UK’s organ donation and allocation organization. It has close links with the CT service in Bristol Eye Hospital whose ophthalmic surgical service provides a Medical Advisor to the Eye Bank. Over 100 CT are carried out each year in Bristol and there has been active development of new surgical techniques, including deep anterior lamellar CT, endothelial keratoplasty, and implantation of keratoprostheses. The Eye Bank has been active in analysis of factors influencing the survival and visual outcome of CT, using clinical follow-up data collected nationally by NHS Blood and Transplant. Corneal transplants in the UK have follow-up data recorded routinely at 1, 2 and 5 years.

  • Prof. John Armitage is Professor of Ophthalmology in UBR’s School of Clinical Sciences. After completing a PhD in cardiac cryopreservation and following research posts in Cambridge, UK and the USA, he moved to UBR in 1984 to help set up Bristol Eye Bank. Professor Armitage continued research into the preservation of cells and tissues for transplantation. He has researched extensively the influence of donor factors on the suitability of corneas for transplantation and, more recently, the impact of donor and recipient factors on 5-year graft survival. The HLA matching project which he leads is on-going with follow-up expected to be completed within the next 2 years. Professor Armitage is also an international consultant to the Swedish Corneal Transplant Registry and has published on graft outcomes in Sweden. He has published 77 original peer-reviewed papers and contributed 14 chapters to edited books as well as a range of editorials, published symposia and an edited book on Eye Banking.