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New structure in the eye could lead to better eye surgery

By Tim Sandle     Jun 22, 2013 in Health
Scientists have discovered a thin, durable layer near the back of the cornea. This find could lead to safer corneal surgeries.
A new, very thin layer, has been found in the human eye, called Dua’s layer. The layer is only 15 microns thick (about 0.000039 inches) and is, relatively, very strong layer. It is located within the cornea. The discovery was made by Harminder Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, at Nottingham University.
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. The cornea is responsible for two-thirds of the eye's total optical power.
The new layer was found after examinations of several donated human eyes. The layer was revealed after researchers separated corneal layers by pumping small air bubbles in between them and then removing and replacing the different layers.
Based on a research brief, the discovery could lead to improved outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. Because Dua’s layer, composed primarily of collagen, is so strong, surgeons performing certain types of corneal surgeries could plan to inject air closer to this layer, rather than near more fragile layers that are more prone to tearing.
The findings have been published in the journal Ophthalmology.
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