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Khoa D. Tran, Mark A Terry, Christopher Stoeger; Physical properties of electron-beam irradiated corneas stored in recombinant human serum albumin.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2386.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
While electron-beam (e-beam) irradiated cornea tissue have been successfully used in ophthalmic procedures, structural changes within the tissue as a result of e-beam irradiation and the resulting functional outcomes have not been described in detail. Here, we report preliminary studies comparing the physical properties of fresh versus e-beam treated corneas.
The clarity, structural properties, and surgical handling of e-beam irradiated corneas were examined and compared to fresh donor corneas. Dark field microscopy and computer-aided analysis using Matlab were performed to determine corneal clarity. Differential scanning calorimetry and tissue histology were used to examine the corneal collagen matrix organization. The rigidity (elastic modulus) of the cornea were determined using Brillouin optical microscopy. Tissue and suture handling evaluations were performed by two different fellowship-trained cornea surgeons who were masked to tissue treatment conditions prior to handling.
The clarity of fresh and e-beam irradiated corneas were 92.4 ± 3.5% and 89.7 ± 2.7%, respectively (N=18, P=0.009). Differential scanning calorimetry revealed that the denaturing temperature of e-beam irradiated tissue is approximately 2°C lower than fresh corneas (N=5), although histological sections comparing fresh and e-beam treated tissue revealed minimal changes in the collagen matrix (N=8). Brillouin optical microscopy and analysis suggests that irradiated corneas are slightly more rigid than fresh corneas, although this change did not affect the tissue’s ability to handle external forces as no statistically significant differences were detected in the shear moduli of the two groups (7.3 kPa vs. 6.2 kPa, N=6). Likewise, cornea surgeons evaluating e-beam treated tissue did not note major differences in the tissue’s elasticity or ability to handle sutures.
Our preliminary results suggest that e-beam treated corneas possess similar properties to fresh donor corneas. Although there is a 2.7% decrease in clarity and slight changes to the structure of the corneal tissue after irradiation, these changes do not appear to have adverse effects on their clinical and functional properties. Additional studies are required to strengthen our current understanding of e-beam irradiation on corneal tissue, including examination of e-beam treated tissues after prolonged storage (>1 year).
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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