We have utilized a radically new type of optical scanning microscope to study the full-thickness morphology of the intact cornea in an excised human eye bank eye and in freshly sacrificed rabbit eyes in situ. This technology enables one to study corneal morphology layer by layer in extremely thin sections, only disturbing the tissue with an applanating tip. We have demonstrated the cells of the corneal surface, subsurface cells, the topography of Bowman's membrane, corneal lamellae, stromal keratocytes, and the corneal endothelium. The application of this technology lends itself to the in vivo examination of the human cornea. This should aid us greatly in the study of normal morphology, disease states, and the reaction of the cornea in wound healing.