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Exp Eye Res. 2013 Oct;115:216-23. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2013.07.029. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Measurement of the anisotropic thermal conductivity of the porcine cornea.

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  • 1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. Electronic address: mdb@creare.com.


Accurate thermal models for the cornea of the eye support the development of thermal techniques for reshaping the cornea and other scientific purposes. Heat transfer in the cornea must be quantified accurately so that a thermal treatment does not destroy the endothelial layer, which cannot regenerate, and yet is responsible for maintaining corneal transparency. We developed a custom apparatus to measure the thermal conductivity of ex vivo porcine corneas perpendicular to the surface and applied a commercial apparatus to measure thermal conductivity parallel to the surface. We found that corneal thermal conductivity is 14% anisotropic at the normal state of corneal hydration. Small numbers of ex vivo feline and human corneas had a thermal conductivity perpendicular to the surface that was indistinguishable from the porcine corneas. Aqueous humor from ex vivo porcine, feline, and human eyes had a thermal conductivity nearly equal to that of water. Including the anisotropy of corneal thermal conductivity will improve the predictive power of thermal models of the eye.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


GHP; Guarded Hot Plate; LSP; LTK; Laser Thermokeratoplasty; Line Source Probe; MTK; Microwave Thermal Keratoplasty; RFTK; Radio-Frequency Thermal Keratoplasty; TK; Thermal Keratoplasty; anisotropic; cornea; feline; human; porcine; thermal conductivity; thermal keratoplasty; water fraction

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