The Ultrastructures and Mechanical Properties of the Descement's Membrane in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

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Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), is the most common corneal endothelial dystrophy, and contributes up to 50% of all corneal transplantations performed in developed countries. FECD develops in Descemet's membrane (DM) and possibly alters the mechanical properties and internal structures in this basal lamina. In this work, the morphology and mechanical properties of FECD-DMs are studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quantitative dynamic atomic force microscopy (QD-AFM) at nano scale. Pathological wide-space collagens that are typical of FECD display different mechanical properties in that they are softer than the remaining tissue both for dehydrated- and fully hydrated samples. Additionally, the hydration level has major influence on the mechanical properties. These findings could help to further understand the structural changes in FECD, and possibly be useful for further characterization of the disease, the diagnosis and assessment or even pathologic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23096
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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