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Light transmission in the human cornea as a function of position across the ocular surface: theoretical and experimental aspects

Doutch, James John, Quantock, Andrew James ORCID:, Smith, Valerie A. and Meek, Keith Michael Andrew ORCID: 2008. Light transmission in the human cornea as a function of position across the ocular surface: theoretical and experimental aspects. Biophysical Journal 95 (11) , pp. 5092-5099. 10.1529/biophysj.108.132316

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This article investigates the theoretical basis for differences in visible light transmission through the human cornea as a function of distance from the center. Experimentally, transmission decreases approximately linearly up to 3 mm from the central axis, then quadratically beyond this. It is known that collagen fibril number density and collagen fibril radii change from the central region to the corneal periphery. We modeled, using the direct-summation-of-scattered-fields method, the effects these ultrastructural changes would be expected to have on light transmission, accounting for the increase in corneal thickness from center to edge. Fibril positions for the modeling were obtained from electron micrographs of human cornea. Theoretically, transmission remains fairly constant across the central cornea; then, as the fibril diameter increases, the predicted scattering increases. Interfibrillar spacing changes alter the refractive index ratio between matrix and fibril; this was modeled in our theoretical deductions. Fibril number density had a minimal effect on light propagation. Our theoretical deductions were in broad agreement with our experimental data. It is concluded that the reduced transparency in the peripheral stroma is primarily caused by changes in fibril radius and an increase in refractive index ratio between the fibril and the interfibrillar substance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Publisher: Biophysical Society
ISSN: 0006-3495
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:03

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