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Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 1995 Feb;73(1):12-7.

Extensibility of the normo-hydrated human cornea.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Arhus University Hospital, Denmark.


The extensibility of 10 human corneas was evaluated in vitro by measuring central epithelial side and endothelial side tangential strain induced by intraocular pressure loads ranging from 2 to 100 mmHg. Corneal normo-hydration was attempted by immersing and perfusing the eyes with 8% Dextran 500 in isotonic saline. The relationship between corneal strain and intraocular pressure was found to be non-linear, showing a typical stress-stiffening behaviour. Strain changes were approximately 10% higher on the endothelial side compared with the epithelial side. This difference could be fully explained by pressure induced changes in corneal volume. Compared to previous experiments performed on swollen corneas, the stiffness of the normo-hydrated human cornea was found to be higher. Young's modulus of elasticity for the corneal stroma was estimated to 3, 9, and 20 MPa for intraocular pressure intervals of 2-10, 10-25, and 25-100 mmHg, respectively.

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