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The Effect of Riboflavin/UVA Collagen Cross-linking Therapy on the Structure and Hydrodynamic Behaviour of the Ungulate and Rabbit Corneal Stroma.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052860 DOI Help
PMID: 23349690 PMID Help

Authors: Sally Hayes (University of Cardiff) , Christina Kamma-lorger (Cardiff University) , Craig Boote (University of Cardiff) , Robert Young (Cardiff University) , Andrew Quantock (Cardiff University) , Jennifer Hiller (Diamond Light Source) , Nicholas Terrill (Diamond Light Source) , Keith Meek (Cardiff University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Plos One , VOL 8 (1)

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2013
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 1536 , 909

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Purpose: To examine the effect of riboflavin/UVA corneal crosslinking on stromal ultrastructure and hydrodynamic behaviour.Methods: One hundred and seventeen enucleated ungulate eyes (112 pig and 5 sheep) and 3 pairs of rabbit eyes, with corneal epithelium removed, were divided into four treatment groups: Group 1 (28 pig, 2 sheep and 3 rabbits) were untreated; Group 2 (24 pig) were exposed to UVA light (3.04 mW/cm(2)) for 30 minutes and Group 3 (29 pig) and Group 4 (31 pig, 3 sheep and 3 rabbits) had riboflavin eye drops applied to the corneal surface every 5 minutes for 35 minutes. Five minutes after the initial riboflavin instillation, the corneas in Group 4 experienced a 30 minute exposure to UVA light (3.04 mW/cm(2)). X-ray scattering was used to obtain measurements of collagen interfibrillar spacing, spatial order, fibril diameter, D-periodicity and intermolecular spacing throughout the whole tissue thickness and as a function of tissue depth in the treated and untreated corneas. The effect of each treatment on the hydrodynamic behaviour of the cornea (its ability to swell in saline solution) and its resistance to enzymatic digestion were assessed using in vitro laboratory techniques.Results: Corneal thickness decreased significantly following riboflavin application (p<0.01) and also to a lesser extent after UVA exposure (p<0.05). With the exception of the spatial order factor, which was higher in Group 4 than Group 1 (p<0.01), all other measured collagen parameters were unaltered by cross-linking, even within the most anterior 300 microns of the cornea. The cross-linking treatment had no effect on the hydrodynamic behaviour of the cornea but did cause a significant increase in its resistance to enzymatic digestion.Conclusions: It seems likely that cross-links formed during riboflavin/UVA therapy occur predominantly at the collagen fibril surface and in the protein network surrounding the collagen.

Journal Keywords: Collagens; Cornea; Cross-Linking; Hydrodynamics; Proteoglycans; Rabbits; Riboflavin; Ultraviolet A

Subject Areas: Medicine, Biology and Bio-materials


Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: SPring-8 ESRF Soleil