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Exp Eye Res. 1998 Jan;66(1):97-103.

Induction of cross-links in corneal tissue.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.


The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of induction of cross-links in corneal tissue in order to increase the stiffness as a basis for a future conservative treatment of keratectasia. Collagenous biomaterials can be stabilized by chemical and physical agents. The epithelium of enucleated porcine eyes was removed. Eight test groups, 10 eyes each, were treated with UV-light (lambda=254 nm), 0.5% riboflavin, 0.5% riboflavin and UV-light (365 nm) blue light (436 nm) and sunlight, and the chemical agents-glutaraldehyde (1% and 0.1%, 10 min) and Karnovsky's solution (0.1%, 10 min). Strips of 5 mm in width and 9 mm in length were cut from each cornea and the stress-strain behaviour of the strips was measured to assess the cross-linking process. For comparison, ten untreated corneas were measured by the same method. Compared to untreated corneas treatment with riboflavin and UV-irradiation as well as weak glutaraldehyde or Karnovsky's solutions resulted in an increased stiffness of the cornea. The biomechanical behaviour of the cornea can be altered by glutaraldehyde, Karnovsky's solution, and with riboflavin and UV-irradiation which offers the potential of a conservative treatment of keratoconus. To optimize this effect further investigation is necessary regarding the dose-response and in-vivo application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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