PurposeTo investigate the viscoelastic changes of the human cornea induced by riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) at the nano level.MethodsSeven eye bank donor corneas were investigated, after gently removing the epithelium, using a commercial AFM in the force spectroscopy mode. Silicon cantilevers with tip radius of 10 nm and spring elastic constants between 26-and 86-N/m were used to probe the viscoelastic properties of the anterior stroma up to 3 mu m indentation depth. Five specimens were tested before and after riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking; the other two specimens were chemically cross-linked using glutaraldehyde 2.5% solution and used as controls. The Young's modulus (E) and the hysteresis (H) of the corneal stroma were quantified as a function of the application load and scan rate.ResultsThe Young's modulus increased by a mean of 1.1-1.5 times after riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking (P<0.05). A higher increase of E, by a mean of 1.5-2.6 times, was found in chemically cross-linked specimens using glutaraldehyde 2.5% (P<0.05). The hysteresis decreased, by a mean of 0.9-1.5 times, in all specimens after riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking (P<0.05). A substantial decrease of H, ranging between 2.6 and 3.5 times with respect to baseline values, was observed in glutaraldehyde-treated corneas (P<0.05).ConclusionsThe present study provides the first evidence that riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking induces changes of the viscoelastic properties of the cornea at the scale of stromal molecular interactions.
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|Titolo:||Understanding of the viscoelastic response of the human corneal stroma induced by riboflavin/UV-A cross-linking at the nano level|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|