The findings, published in a paper in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, could shed new light on glaucoma, a devastating disease caused by defective drainage of fluid from the eye and the world's second leading cause of blindness.
The latest research shows that the new layer, dubbed Dua's Layer after the academic Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it, makes an important contribution to the sieve-like meshwork, the trabecular meshwork (TM), in the periphery of the cornea.
The TM is a wedge-shaped band of tissue that extends along the circumference of the angle of the anterior chamber of the eye. It is made of beams of collagen wrapped in a basement membrane to which trabecular cells and endothelial cells attach. The beams branch out randomly to form a 'meshwork'.
Pressure within the eye is maintained by the balance of aqueous fluid production by eye tissue called the ciliary body and drainage principally through the TM to the canal of Schlemm, a circular channel in the angle of the eye.
Defective drainage through the TM is an important cause of glaucoma, a condition that leads to raised pressure in the eye that can permanently affect sight. Around 1 to 2% of the world's population yearly have chronic glaucoma and globally around 45 million people have open angle glaucoma which can permanently damage the optic nerve — 10% of whom are blind.
The latest research by Professor Dua and colleagues in Academic Ophthalmology at The University of Nottingham sheds new light on the basic anatomy of Dua's Layer, which is just 15 microns thick but incredibly tough. Comprised of thin plates of collagen, it sits at the back of the cornea between the corneal stroma and Descemet's membrane.
By examining human donor eyes using electron microscopy, the researchers were able to look at Dua's Layer beyond the central part of the cornea to shed more light on its features at the extreme periphery of the cornea. They discovered that the collagen fibres of Dua's Layer also branch out to form a meshwork and that the core of TM is in fact an extension of Dua's Layer.
It is hoped the discovery will offer new clues on why the drainage system malfunctions in the eyes of some people, leading to high pressure.
Professor Dua said: "Many surgeons who perform lamellar corneal transplant recognise this layer as an important part of the surgical anatomy of the cornea. This new finding resulting from a study of the microanatomy of the periphery of the layer could have significance beyond corneal surgery."
The breakthrough discovery of Dua's Layer was first revealed in a paper in the academic journal Ophthalmology in June last year and was widely covered by the world's scientific and lay media.
The paper became the number one downloaded ophthalmology paper from the website ScienceDirect between July and September 2013 and was ranked the 11th most downloaded from the website for the whole of medicine and dentistry.The latest research paper, The Collagen Matrix of the Human Trabecular Meshwork is an Extension of the Novel Pre-Descemet's layer (Dua's layer), can be viewed online (after the embargo lifts) at
Harminder Dua | EurekAlert!
Stanford researchers observe the moment when a mind is changed
06.05.2015 | Stanford School of Engineering
UNC Team uses cellular bubbles to deliver Parkinson's meds directly to brain
05.05.2015 | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Spray drying is a common manufacturing process, used in the production of ceramic granulate for technical components or dental prostheses as well as dissolvable medicinal substances, food additives and in the processing of milk into powder. Using computer simulation methodology developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, a more comprehensible understanding can now be gained of the behavior of particles in solvent during the spray drying process. This allows powder and granulate manufacturers to specifically adjust the properties of their products while reducing waste.
Previously, it was unusual for granule and powder producers to use granulation simulations to improve their products. For new product development or process...
Texas A&M University researchers demonstrate how a narrow-band strobe light source for speckle-free imaging has the potential to reveal microscopic forms of life
In modern microscope imaging techniques, lasers are used as light sources because they can deliver fast pulsed and extremely high-intensity radiation to a...
A team of highly determined high school students discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation's...
Scientists from Nepal, Switzerland and Germany was now able to show how erosion processes caused by the monsoon are mirrored in the sediment load of a river crossing the Himalaya.
In these days, it was again tragically demonstrated that the Himalayas are one of the most active geodynamic regions of the world. Landslides belong to the...
A world-class prime systems integrator and electronic systems provider known for its rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is currently developing a new space transportation system called the Dream Chaser.
The ultimate aim is to construct a multi-mission-capable space utility vehicle, while accelerating the overall development process for this critical capability...
05.05.2015 | Event News
23.04.2015 | Event News
23.04.2015 | Event News
06.05.2015 | Life Sciences
06.05.2015 | Life Sciences
06.05.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation