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Collagen and mature elastic fibre organisation as a function of depth in the human cornea and limbus.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.11.004 DOI Help
PMID: 19914381 PMID Help

Authors: Christina Kamma-lorger (Cardiff University) , Craig Boote (University of Cardiff) , Sally Hayes (University of Cardiff) , Julian Moger (University of Exeter) , Manfred Burhammer (ESRF) , Carlo Knupp (Cardiff University) , Andrew Quantock (Cardiff University) , Thomas Sorensen (Diamond Light Source) , Emmanuella Dicola (ESRF) , Nick White (Cardiff University) , Keith Meek (Cardiff University) , Robert Young (Cardiff University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Structural Biology , VOL 169 (3) , PAGES 424-430

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2010
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 919

Abstract: A network of circumferentially oriented collagen fibrils exists in the periphery of the human cornea, and is thought to be pivotal in maintaining corneal biomechanical stability and curvature. However, it is unknown whether or not this key structural arrangement predominates throughout the entire corneal thickness or exists as a discrete feature at a particular tissue depth; or if it incorporates any elastic fibres and how, with respect to tissue depth, the circumcomeal annulus integrates with the orthogonally arranged collagen of the central cornea. To address these issues we performed a three-dimensional investigation of fibrous collagen and elastin architecture in the peripheral and central human cornea using synchrotron X-ray scattering and non-linear microscopy. This showed that the network of collagen fibrils circumscribing the human cornea is located in the posterior one-third of the tissue and is interlaced with significant numbers of mature elastic fibres which mirror the alignment of the collagen. The orthogonal arrangement of collagen in the central cornea is also mainly restricted to the posterior stromal layers. This information will aid the development of corneal biomechanical models aimed at explaining how normal corneal curvature is sustained and further predicting the outcome of surgical procedures. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Journal Keywords: Collagen; X-ray diffraction; Mature elastic fibres; Non-linear microscopy; Cornea

Subject Areas: Medicine

Instruments: I02-Macromolecular Crystallography