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Logo of brjopthalBritish Journal of OphthalmologyVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
Br J Ophthalmol. 2007; 91(12): 1698–1703.
Published online 2006 July 19. doi:  10.1136/bjo.2006.094888
PMCID: PMC2095551

Topographical changes of biconvex objects during equatorial traction: an analogy for accommodation of the human lens

Abstract

Aim

To assess and compare the changes in shape of encapsulated biconvex structures undergoing equatorial traction with those changes reported in the human lens during accommodation.

Methods

Equatorial traction was applied to several different biconvex structures: air, water, and gel filled mylar and rubber balloons and spherical vesicles. In the vesicles, traction was applied externally, using optical tweezers, or from within, by the assembly of encapsulated microtubules. The shape changes were recorded photographically and the change in central radius of curvature of water filled mylar balloons was quantified.

Results

Whenever an outward equatorial force was applied to the long axis of long oval biconvex objects, where the minor to major axis ratio was [less-than-or-eq, slant]0.6, the central surfaces steepened and the peripheral surfaces flattened. Similar changes in the shape of the lens have been reported during human in vivo accommodation.

Conclusions

All biconvex structures that have been studied demonstrate similar shape changes in response to equatorial traction. This effect is independent of capsular thickness. The consistent observation of this physical change in the configuration of biconvex structures in response to outward equatorial force suggests that this may be a universal response of biconvex structures, also applicable to the human lens undergoing accommodation.

Keywords: lens shape, equatorial traction, accommodation

Articles from The British Journal of Ophthalmology are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group