December 1969
Volume 8, Issue 6
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Articles  |   December 1969
Evaporation rate of water from the precorneal tear film and cornea in the rabbit
Author Affiliations
  • SHUZO IWATA
    Department of Cornea Research, Retina Foundation, Institute of Biological and Medical Sciences Boston, Mass
  • MICHAEL A. LEMP
    Department of Cornea Research, Retina Foundation, Institute of Biological and Medical Sciences Boston, Mass
  • FRANK J. HOLLY
    Department of Cornea Research, Retina Foundation, Institute of Biological and Medical Sciences Boston, Mass
  • CLAES H. DOHLMAN
    Department of Cornea Research, Retina Foundation, Institute of Biological and Medical Sciences Boston, Mass
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 1969, Vol.8, 613-619. doi:
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      SHUZO IWATA, MICHAEL A. LEMP, FRANK J. HOLLY, CLAES H. DOHLMAN; Evaporation rate of water from the precorneal tear film and cornea in the rabbit. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1969;8(6):613-619.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

A technique for the study of evaporation from the precorneal and corneal surfaces has been developed. Evaporation from the superficial lipid layer (SLL) has been measured to be 10.1 x 10-7 Gm.cm.-2sec-1 When this lipid layer is removed, evaporation increases around fourfold. Evaporation from the dry epithelial surface occurs at a rate of 1.8 x 10-7 Gm.cm.-2sec-1 After the epithelium is removed, a twentyfold increase in evaporation rate occurs. The specific resistances (u) to evaporation of these layers have been calculated: epithelium, = 82.5 sec./cm.; SLL,= 12.9 sec/cm.; aqueous tears, ≤ 1 sec/cm.; stroma, ≤ 0 sec./cm. Thus, the superficial lipid layer is effective in retarding evaporation of the precorneal tear film. Its effectiveness compares favorably to that of condensed monolayers of long-chain fatty alcohols on pure water, known to be efficient in retarding evaporation. The epithelium functions as a barrier to water flow and is highly effective in retarding evaporation in the absence of a tear film.

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