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Proceedings Paper

Physical and photochemical properties of ocular melanin
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Paper Abstract

Recent advances in the current state of knowledge about the properties of physiological and synthetic melanin are reviewed in the context of that pigment's optical properties, the physical structure that confers some of its unusual properties, its supportive role in the visual process (by absorbing excess light and reducing intraocular light scatter), its role in some (but not all) laser interactions with ocular tissue, its protective properties (by absorbing potentially phototoxic short-wavelength visible light), and its photoinducible free radical properties. The ability of melanin to form a long-lived radical during visible light irradiation may serve as a protective mechanism against light damage by transforming optical energy into chemical potential energy that can be dissipated in a chain of coupled redox reactions. If a cellular event such as antioxidant depletion occurs that disrupts this chain, however, the melanin radical may promote photo-oxidative damage in ocular tissue. Thus melanin may play two opposing roles in the eye: one protective and the other potentially damaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2001
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4241, Saratov Fall Meeting 2000: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine II, (4 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.431511
Show Author Affiliations
Randolph D. Glickman, Univ. of Texas Health Science Ctr. at San Antonio (United States)
James M. Gallas, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio and Photoprotective Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Steven L. Jacques, Oregon Medical Laser Ctr./Providence St. Vincent's Hospital (United States)
Benjamin A. Rockwell, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Dhiraj K. Sardar, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4241:
Saratov Fall Meeting 2000: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine II
Valery V. Tuchin, Editor(s)

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