August 1962
Volume 1, Issue 4
Articles  |   August 1962
The Physical Basis for Transparency of the Crystalline Lens
Author Affiliations
    From the Laboratory of Physical Biology, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, United States Public Health Service, Bethesda, Md ;The Institute of Ophthalmology, Presbyterian Hospital, 635 West 165th Street, New York 32, N. Y.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 1962, Vol.1, 493-501. doi:
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      STEPHEN TROKEL; The Physical Basis for Transparency of the Crystalline Lens. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1962;1(4):493-501.

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

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The transmission of light has been studied in tissue-cultured lenses of albino rabbits. The interaction of light with matter can be resolved into the two processes of absorption and scattering. Scattered light was measured from both whole lenses and soluble lens proteins at varied concentrations with a light-scattering photometer. Transmitted light was measured with a recording spectrophotometer. The reduction in intensity of the beam in the visible portion of the spectrum that was transmitted through the albino rabbit lens is shown to be, primarily, a result of light scattering. The back-scattered light from the lens is shown to increase with age. The soluble proteins which comprise most of the interior of the lens fiber act as small particles that scatter light. A paracrystalline state of these proteins with a high degree of spatial order in the intact fiber is inferred to explain the transparency of the fiber. The extinction of light from large particle scattering by the walls of the lens fiber is minimized by their regular spacing. The regularity was shown to have a characteristic diffraction pattern which forms the lenticular halo. Opacification is discussed in terms of quantitative changes in light scattering.


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