PURPOSE: To investigate the organization of collagen fibrils in the lyophilized cornea. METHODS: Freshly harvested porcine corneas (n=10) were lyophilized and examined by synchrotron x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: Collagen fibrils are highly compacted in lyophilized corneas. They become more widely spaced when the tissue is rehydrated, however, the distribution of imbibed water throughout the stroma is not necessarily homogeneous within an individual cornea, nor is it always similar in specimens that have been rehydrated to similar levels. In lyophilized corneas, the mean center-to-center interfibrilar spacing of the regularly arranged collagen reaches levels found in freshly thawed porcine corneas (between 74% and 78% water by weight) when between 74.3% and 81.6% of the rehydrated lyophilized cornea's weight is water. CONCLUSION: Regularly arranged collagen fibrils are able to reapproximate their original spacings if lyophilized corneal tissue is rehydrated, although the manner in which imbibed water is distributed is somewhat unpredictable.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Refractive Surgery|
|State||Published - Mar 1 1997|
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