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Medicine

Researchers Discover Another Layer To the Cornea 74

Posted by timothy
from the also-new-letter-between-q-and-s dept.
puddingebola writes with this excerpt: "A previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye, has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham. This new layer, called the Dua's Layer after Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it, could help surgeons to dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written. Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients," said Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences."
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Researchers Discover Another Layer To the Cornea

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  • The eyes have it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:00AM (#43995931)

    For those who don't bother to read TFA: Dua's layer is what keeps your eyeballs intact despite your eye being pressurized to a greater extent than the surrounding atmosphere. It can take up to two bars of pressure. The discovery helped doctors figure out what was behind the cause of several structural-weakness related illnesses of the eye and may lead to new treatment options for glaucoma sufferers.

  • by reverseengineer (580922) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:55AM (#43996803)

    From the experiments that were done to find this new layer, it seems that it is very difficult to separate from the adjoining layer (Descemet's membrane). Getting Dua's layer to separate from Descemet's membrane was a serendipitous result of simulating eye surgery (a lamellar keratoplasty, which is a partial corneal graft) involving the "big bubble technique," which uses an injection of air to separate Descemet's membrane from the corneal stroma. It turned out that it was sometimes possible to create this air bubble in specimens where Descemet's membrane had been removed, meaning there had to be another layer for air to get into. Otherwise, it wouldn't be easily detected as a separate layer.

    Here's what the "big bubble technique" looks like [sciencedirect.com]. It's pictures of eye surgery, so don't say you weren't properly warned.

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