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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 34 — Dec. 1, 2007
  • pp: 8351–8357

Optical anisotropy of the human cornea determined with a polarizing microscope

Richard A. Bone and Grenville Draper  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 34, pp. 8351-8357 (2007)

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We have investigated the optical anisotropy of the human cornea using a polarizing microscope normally used for optical mineralogy studies. The central part of the cornea was removed from 14 eyes (seven donors). With the sample placed on the microscope stage, we consistently observed hyperbolic isogyres characteristic of a negative biaxial material. The angle between the optic axes, generally similar in both eyes, ranged from 12° to 40° ( mean ± SD = 31 ° ± 8 ° ) . The optic axial plane always inclined downward in the nasal direction at 1°–45° below the horizontal ( mean ± SD = 22 ± 13 ° ) . The retardance produced by the corneas was estimated to be less than 200   nm . In conclusion, the human cornea possesses the anisotropy of a negative biaxial material. Both the angle between the optic axes and the retardance were fairly constant among the majority of samples, suggestive of uniformity in corneal structure.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.4460) Medical optics and biotechnology : Ophthalmic optics and devices
(330.5370) Vision, color, and visual optics : Physiological optics

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: July 9, 2007
Revised Manuscript: October 19, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: October 24, 2007
Published: November 30, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Richard A. Bone and Grenville Draper, "Optical anisotropy of the human cornea determined with a polarizing microscope," Appl. Opt. 46, 8351-8357 (2007)

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