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Opt Express. 2005 Jul 25;13(15):5791-7.

Second harmonic generation imaging of collagen fibrils in cornea and sclera.


Collagen, as the most abundant protein in the human body, determines the unique physiological and optical properties of the connective tissues including cornea and sclera. The ultrastructure of collagen, which conventionally can only be resolved by electron microscopy, now can be probed by optical second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging. SHG imaging revealed that corneal collagen fibrils are regularly packed as a polycrystalline lattice, accounting for the transparency of cornea. In contrast, scleral fibrils possess inhomogeneous, tubelike structures with thin hard shells, maintaining the high stiffness and elasticity of the sclera.

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