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Peter M. Pinsky; Three-Dimensional Modeling of Metabolic Species Transport in the Cornea With a Hydrogel Intrastromal Inlay. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(5):3093-3106. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-13844.
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Intrastromal inlays for refractive correction of presbyopia are being adopted into clinical practice. An important concern is the effect of the inlay on the long-term health of the cornea due to disturbances in the concentration profiles of metabolic species. A three-dimensional metabolic model for the cornea is employed to investigate oxygen, glucose, and lactate ion transport in the cornea and to estimate changes in species concentrations induced by the introduction of a hydrogel inlay.
A reaction-diffusion metabolic model, appropriate for highly oxygen-permeable hydrogel inlays, is used to describe cellular consumption of oxygen and glucose and production of lactic acid. A three-layer corneal geometry (epithelium, stroma, endothelium) is employed with a hydrogel inlay placed under a lamellar flap. The model is solved numerically by the finite element method.
For a commercially available hydrogel material with a relative inlay diffusivity of 43.5%, maximum glucose depletion and lactate ion accumulation occur anterior to the inlay and both are less than 3%. Below 20% relative diffusivity, glucose depletion and lactate ion accumulation increase exponentially. Glucose depletion increases slightly with increasing depth of inlay placement.
The flux of metabolic species is modified by an inlay, depending on the inlay relative diffusivity. For commercially available hydrogel materials and a typical inlay design, predicted changes in species concentrations are small when compared to the variation of concentrations across the normal cornea. In general, glucose depletion and lactate ion accumulation are highly sensitive to inlay diffusivity and somewhat insensitive to inlay depth.
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