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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Variations in the endogenous fluorescence of rabbit corneas after mechanical property alterations
Author(s): Antonio Ortega-Martinez; Genna Touchette; Hong Zhu; Irene E. Kochevar; Walfre Franco
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Paper Abstract

Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the cornea progressively deforms due to loss of cornea mechanical rigidity, and thus causes deterioration of visual acuity. Techniques to characterize the mechanical characteristics of the cornea are important to better monitor changes and response to treatments. To investigate the feasibility of using the endogenous fluorescence of cornea for monitoring alterations of its mechanical rigidity, linear tensiometry was used to quantitate stiffness and Young’s modulus (YM) after treatments that increase cornea stiffness (collagen photocross-linking) or decrease stiffness (enzymatic digestion). The endogenous ultraviolet fluorescence of cornea was also measured before and after these treatments. The fluorescence excitation/emission spectral ranges were 280 to 430/390 to 520 nm, respectively. A correlation analysis was carried out to identify fluorescence excitation/emission pairs whose intensity changes correlated with the stiffness. A positive correlation was found between variations in fluorescence intensity of the 415-/485-nm excitation/emission pair and YM of photocross-linked corneas. After treatment of corneas with pepsin, the YM decreased as the fluorescence intensity at 290-/390-nm wavelengths decreased. For weakening of corneas with collagenase, only qualitative changes in the fluorescence spectrum were observed. Changes in the concentration of native or newly created fluorescent molecular species contain information that may be directly or indirectly related to the mechanical structure of the cornea.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2017
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 22(9) 095005 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.9.095005
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 22, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Antonio Ortega-Martinez, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States)
Genna Touchette, Eastern Michigan Univ. (United States)
Hong Zhu, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Irene E. Kochevar, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Walfre Franco, Massachusetts General Hospital, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)
Harvard Medical School, Department of Dermatology, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

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