Abstract Chondroitin sulfate (CDS) has been found to serve as an excellent protective coating for intraocular lens (IOL) implantation to avoid any damage to the corneal endothelium; the protection is total. Using a new vital dye, acid violet 49, as a stain, a series of possible coatings including albumin and hyaluronic acid was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Some 600 animal corneas were trephined, and the sample buttons submitted to the dragging of variously coated lenses across the endothelium. The animal species were rabbit, pig, cow, dog, cat, and monkey. IOLs were traumatically inserted in rabbits and monkeys. Chondroitin sulfate surpassed by far the protective qualities of other compounds: albumin was second best; hyaluronic acid third, the latter two yielding substantial damage in our tests. Comparisons with the commercially available Healon® still revealed chondroitin sulfate to be the most efficacious protective agent. The material was eliminated from the anterior chamber in periods less than 40 hours. Monitoring of postoperative intraocular pressures revealed only normal pressures in our animals.