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Microwave treatment of the cornea leads to localised disruption of the extracellular matrix

Morgan, Sian, Hieda, O., Nakai, Y., Boote, Craig ORCID:, Hayes, Sally ORCID:, Kinoshita, S., Meek, Keith ORCID: and Quantock, Andrew ORCID: 2018. Microwave treatment of the cornea leads to localised disruption of the extracellular matrix. Scientific Reports 8 , 13742. 10.1038/s41598-018-32110-0

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Microwave keratoplasty is a thermo-refractive surgical procedure that can correct myopia (short-sightedness) and pathologic corneal steepening by using microwave energy to cause localised shrinkage around an annulus of the cornea leading to its flattening and vision correction. The effects on the corneal extracellular matrix, however, have not yet been evaluated, thus the current study to assess post-procedure ultrastructural changes in an in-vivo rabbit model. To achieve this a series of small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments were carried out across whole transects of treated and untreated rabbit corneas at 0.25 mm intervals, which indicated no significant change in collagen intra-fibrillar parameters (i.e. collagen fibril diameter or axial D-period), whereas inter-fibrillar measures (i.e. fibril spacing and the degree of spatial order) were markedly altered in microwave-treated regions of the cornea. These structural matrix alterations in microwave-treated corneas have predicted implications for corneal biomechanical strength and tissue transparency, and, we contend, potentially render microwave-treated corneas resistant to surgical stabilization using corneal cross-linking procedures currently employed to combat refractive error caused by corneal steepening.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Funders: MRC, BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 31 August 2018
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 03:40

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