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Analysis of X-ray scattering microstructure data for implementation in numerical simulations of ocular biomechanical behaviour

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214770 DOI Help

Authors: Dong Zhou (University of Liverpool) , Ashkan Eliasy (University of Liverpool) , Ahmed Abass (University of Liverpool) , Petar Markov (Cardiff University) , Charles Whitford (University of Liverpool) , Craig Boote (Cardiff University) , Alexander Movchan (University of Liverpool) , Natalia Movchan (University of Liverpool) , Ahmed Elsheikh (University of Liverpool; Moorfields Eye Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust; University College London Institute of Ophthalmology; Beihang University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Plos One , VOL 14

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 14757

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: This study aimed to analyse microstructure data on the density and orientation of collagen fibrils in whole eye globes and to propose an effective method for the preparation of data for use in numerical simulations of the eye’s biomechanical performance. Wide-angle X-ray scattering was applied to seven healthy ex-vivo human eyes. Each eye was dissected into an anterior and a posterior cup, and radial incisions were used to flatten the tissue before microstructure characterisation. A method was developed to use the microstructure data obtained for the dissected tissue to build realistic 3D maps of fibril density and orientation covering the whole eye globe. At the central cornea, 61.5±2.3% of fibrils were aligned within 45° sectors surrounding the two orthogonal directions. In contrast, more than one-third of the total fibril content was concentrated along the circumferential direction at the limbus (37.0±2.4%) and around the optic nerve head (34.8±2.1%). The insertion locations of the four recti muscles exhibited a preference in the meridional direction near the equator (38.6±3.9%). There was also a significant difference in fibril density between the limbus and other regions (ratio = 1.91±0.45, p <0.01 at the central cornea and ratio = 0.80±0.21, p <0.01 at the posterior pole). Characterisation of collagen fibril density and orientation across the whole ocular surface has been possible but required the use of a technique that involved tissue dissection and hence caused tissue damage. The method presented in this paper aimed to minimise the effect of dissection on the quality of obtained data and was successful in identifying fibril distribution trends that were compatible with earlier studies, which concentrated on localised areas of the ocular globe.

Journal Keywords: Cornea; Eyes; Polynomials; Microstructure; Ocular anatomy; Collagens; Tissue distribution; Optic nerve

Subject Areas: Medicine, Biology and Bio-materials, Physics


Instruments: I02-Macromolecular Crystallography

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