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Arthur Hammer, Sabine Kling, Marc-Olivier Boldi, Olivier Richoz, David Tabibian, J. Bradley Randleman, Farhad Hafezi; Establishing Corneal Cross-Linking With Riboflavin and UV-A in the Mouse Cornea In Vivo: Biomechanical Analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(11):6581-6590. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-17426.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To establish corneal cross-linking (CXL) with riboflavin and UV-A in in the mouse cornea in vivo and to develop tools to measure the biomechanical changes observed.
A total of 55 male C57BL/6 wild-type mice (aged 5 weeks) were divided into 14 groups. Standard CXL parameters were adapted to the anatomy of the mouse cornea, and riboflavin concentration (0.1%–0.5%) and fluence series (0.09–5.4 J/cm2) were performed on the assumption of the endothelial damage thresholds. Untreated and riboflavin only corneas were used as controls. Animals were killed at 30 minutes and at 1 month after CXL. Corneas were harvested. Two-dimensional (2D) biomechanical testing was performed using a customized corneal holder in a commercially available stress-strain extensometer/indenter. Both elastic and viscoelastic analyses were performed. Statistical inference was performed using t-tests and specific mathematical models fitted to the experimental stress-strain and stress-relaxation data. Adjusted P values by the method of Benjamini and Hochberg are reported.
For all CXL treatment groups, stress-relaxation showed significant differences (P < 0.0001) after 120 seconds of constant strain application, with cross-linked corneas maintaining a higher stress (441 ± 40 kPa) when compared with controls (337 ± 39 kPa). Stress-strain analysis confirmed these findings but was less sensitive to CXL-induced changes: at 0.5% of strain, cross-linked corneas remained at higher stress (778 ± 111 kPa) when compared with controls (659 ± 121 kPa).
Cross-linking was induced in the mouse cornea in vivo, and its biomechanical effect successfully measured. This could create opportunities to study molecular pathways of CXL in transgenic mice.
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