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Collagen and mature elastic fibre organisation as a function of depth in the human cornea and limbus

Kamma-Lorger, Christina S., Boote, Craig ORCID:, Hayes, Sally ORCID:, Moger, Julian, Burghammer, Manfred, Knupp, Carlo ORCID:, Quantock, Andrew James ORCID:, Sorensen, Thomas, Di Cola, Emanuela, White, Nicholas, Young, Robert David ORCID: and Meek, Keith Michael Andrew ORCID: 2010. Collagen and mature elastic fibre organisation as a function of depth in the human cornea and limbus. Journal of Structural Biology 169 (3) , pp. 424-430. 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.11.004

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A network of circumferentially oriented collagen fibrils exists in the periphery of the human cornea, and is thought to be pivotal in maintaining corneal biomechanical stability and curvature. However, it is unknown whether or not this key structural arrangement predominates throughout the entire corneal thickness or exists as a discrete feature at a particular tissue depth; or if it incorporates any elastic fibres and how, with respect to tissue depth, the circumcorneal annulus integrates with the orthogonally arranged collagen of the central cornea. To address these issues we performed a three-dimensional investigation of fibrous collagen and elastin architecture in the peripheral and central human cornea using synchrotron X-ray scattering and non-linear microscopy. This showed that the network of collagen fibrils circumscribing the human cornea is located in the posterior one-third of the tissue and is interlaced with significant numbers of mature elastic fibres which mirror the alignment of the collagen. The orthogonal arrangement of collagen in the central cornea is also mainly restricted to the posterior stromal layers. This information will aid the development of corneal biomechanical models aimed at explaining how normal corneal curvature is sustained and further predicting the outcome of surgical procedures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collagen; X-ray diffraction; Mature elastic fibres; Non-linear microscopy; Cornea
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1047-8477
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2022 15:08

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