The corneal epithelium is the epithelial tissue which constitutes the first layer of the cornea. It is only 50 micron thick.
The corneal epithelium is made up of columnar, polyhedral, and prickle cells. The corneal epithelium protects the eye against mechanical damage and the penetration of infectious organisms into the cornea. It also provides a stable underground for the anchoring of the tear film, which contains additional defensive agents against infection.