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The structural response of the cornea to changes in stromal hydration

Hayes, Sally ORCID:, White, Tomas, Boote, Craig ORCID:, Kamma-Lorger, Christina S., Bell, James ORCID:, Sorenson, Thomas, Terrill, Nick, Shebanova, Olga and Meek, Keith M. ORCID: 2017. The structural response of the cornea to changes in stromal hydration. Interface 14 (131) 10.1098/rsif.2017.0062

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The primary aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between corneal structure and hydration in humans and pigs. X-ray scattering data were collected from human and porcine corneas equilibrated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to varying levels of hydration, to obtain measurements of collagen fibril diameter, interfibrillar spacing and intermolecular spacing. Both species showed a strong positive linear correlation between hydration and interfibrillar spacing2 and a non-linear, bi-phasic relationship between hydration and fibril diameter, whereby fibril diameter increased up to approximately physiological hydration, H = 3.0, with little change thereafter. Above H = 3.0, porcine corneas exhibited a larger fibril diameter than human corneas (p < 0.001). Intermolecular spacing also varied with hydration in a bi-phasic manner but reached a maximum value at a lower hydration (H = 1.5) than fibril diameter. Human corneas displayed a higher intermolecular spacing than porcine corneas at all hydrations (p < 0.0001). Human and porcine corneas required a similar PEG concentration to reach physiological hydration, suggesting that the total fixed charge that gives rise to the swelling pressure is the same. The difference in their structural responses to hydration can be explained by variations in molecular crosslinking and intra/interfibrillar water partitioning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Uncontrolled Keywords: cornea, swelling, hydration, collagen, proteoglycans, fixed charge
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 1742-5662
Funders: Medical Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 12 May 2017
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 05:55

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