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Cell compaction is not required for the development of gradient refractive index profiles in the embryonic chick lens

Wang, Kehao, Hoshino, Masato, Uesugi, Kentaro, Yagi, Naoto, Young, Robert D. ORCID:, Frost, Bethany E., Regini, Justyn W. ORCID:, Quantock, Andrew J. ORCID: and Pierscionek, Barbara K. 2020. Cell compaction is not required for the development of gradient refractive index profiles in the embryonic chick lens. Experimental Eye Research 197 , 108112. 10.1016/j.exer.2020.108112

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The development of the eye requires the co-ordinated integration of optical and neural elements to create a system with requisite optics for the given animal. The eye lens has a lamellar structure with gradually varying protein concentrations that increase towards the centre, creating a gradient refractive index or GRIN. This provides enhanced image quality compared to a homogeneous refractive index lens. The development of the GRIN during ocular embryogenesis has not been investigated previously. This study presents measurements using synchrotron X-ray Talbot interferometry and scanning electron microscopy of chick eyes from embryonic day 10: midway through embryonic development to E18: a few days before hatching. The lens GRIN profile is evident from the youngest age measured and increases in magnitude of refractive index at all points as the lens grows. The profile is parabolic along the optic axis and has two distinct regions in the equatorial plane. We postulate that these may be fundamental for the independent central and peripheral processes that contribute to the optimisation of image quality and the development of an eye that is emmetropic. The spatial distributions of the distinct GRIN profile regions match with previous measurements on different fibre cell groups in chick lenses of similar developmental stages. Results suggest that tissue compaction may not be necessary for development of the GRIN in the chick eye lens.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0014-4835
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 June 2020
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 16:56

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