The distribution of the scattering coefficient (as defined in the appendix) at a wavelength of 647·1 nm along the visual axis of human eye lenses was investigated using a specially designed set-up for spatially resolved measurements of the intensity of the scattered light. For the same lenses, the distribution of the protein content was measured using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Data collected by both methods were processed in terms of a recently developed theory of short-range, liquid-like order of crystallin proteins that accounts for eye lens transparency. Seven fresh intact human lenses of varying age have been investigated. In addition, elastic and Raman scattering measurements have been performed on fixed lenses. The main results and conclusions are: (1) Fixation significantly affects the light scattering properties of the eye lens. The average level of scattering increases and a change in the distribution of scattered light intensity along the visual axis occurs. Protein content and average distribution were not altered by fixation. (2) There are significant differences between the distribution of the scattering coefficient for lenses of different ages. For young lenses (18 and 20 years) regions with a low protein content (anterior and posterior cortex) show a higher level of elastic light scattering, while for older lenses (42-78 years old) there is no obvious correlation between the scattering level and protein content. (3) Changes in the level of light scattering along the visual axis of the lens cannot be explained by protein concentration effects. Therefore, these changes must be caused by changes in the supramolecular organization of lens proteins in the fibre cytoplasm. (4) The observed changes in light scattering may be related to the zones of discontinuity as observed in slitlamp and Scheimpflug photography of human lenses.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Experimental eye research|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|