PURPOSETo evaluate the effect of genipin, a natural crosslinking agent, in rabbit eyes.SETTINGDepartment of Ophthalmology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Centro de Tecnologia Oftalmica, Bogotá, Colombia.DESIGNExperimental study.METHODSEx vivo rabbit eyes (16; 8 rabbits) were treated with genipin 1.00%, 0.50%, and 0.25% for 5 minutes with a vacuum device to increase corneal permeability. Penetration was evaluated using Scheimpflug pachymetry (Pentacam). In the in vivo model (20 rabbits; 1 eye treated, 1 eye with vehicle), corneas were crosslinked with genipin as described. Corneal curvature, corneal pachymetry, and intraocular pressure (IOP) assessments as well as slitlamp examinations were performed 0, 7, 30, and 60 days after treatment.RESULTSIn the ex vivo model, Scheimpflug pachymetry showed deep penetration in the rabbit corneas with an increase in corneal density and a dose-dependent relationship. Corneal flattening was observed in treated eyes (mean 4.4 diopters ± 0.5 [SD]) compared with the control eyes. Pachymetry and IOP were stable in all evaluations. No eye showed toxicity in the anterior chamber or in the lens.CONCLUSIONSCorneal crosslinking induced by genipin produced significant flattening of the cornea with no toxicity in rabbit eyes. This crosslinking could be useful in the treatment of corneal ectasia and in the modification of corneal curvature.FINANCIAL DISCLOSURENone of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.