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3D structural studies of the cornea

White, Tomas, Lewis, Philip ORCID:, Young, Robert ORCID:, Meek, Keith ORCID: and Bell, James ORCID: 2014. 3D structural studies of the cornea. Presented at: British Congress of Optometry and Vision Science, Cardiff, 01 November 2014. Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics. 10.1111/opo.12160

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Background: Recently, it has been postulated that a 6th layer of the cornea exists, firstly termed ‘Dua’s layer’ by the group that discovered it (1), but more recently termed ‘Pre-Descemet’s layer (PDL) (2)’. The aim of my research is to attempt to characterise this novel corneal layer by determining if any structural differences are present in comparison to the overlying stroma, and if so, do these differences have a functional role.Methods:3 view scanning electron microscopy has been used to produce 3D reconstructions of the cornea at the ultra-structural level in the region of the cornea where ‘PDL’ is thought to exist. Addition-ally, non-linear microscopy has been used to image to mid and posterior stroma. Results: The 3D images identified long elastin-like fibres running through PDL in all directions along the plane of the cornea. These fibres seem to branch, and appear more concentrated immediately above Descemet’s membrane, in the region of PDL, when compared to more anterior regions of the stroma. Non-linear microscopy portrayed the presence of elastic fibres in the PDL region and throughout the posterior stroma. Conclusions: The morphology of the fibres, seen in abundance in the PDL region of the 3D images, suggests that they may be elastic. The elastic fibres identified by non-linear microscopy were difficult to quantify. An abundance of these fibres in the PDL could play an important biomechanical role in the cornea. Future work will involve using immuno-labelling techniques to gain a better understanding of the distribution and functional role of these fibres.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
ISSN: 0275-5408
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 10:15

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