Anterior and posterior corneal stroma elasticity after corneal collagen crosslinking treatment

Janice Dias, Vasilios F. Diakonis, Vardhaman P. Kankariya, Sonia H Yoo, Noel Marysa Ziebarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The purpose of this project was to assess anterior and posterior corneal stromal elasticity after corneal collagen cross linking (CXL) treatment in human cadaver eyes using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) through indentation. Twenty four human cadaver eyes (12 pairs) were included in this study and divided into 2 groups (6 pairs per group). In both groups, the left eye (OS) served as a control (no riboflavin or CXL treatment was performed) and the right eye (OD) underwent CXL treatment (30min of riboflavin pretreatment followed by 30min of exposure to 3mW/cm2 of ultraviolet light). In group 1, the anterior stroma was exposed by manual delamination of approximately 50μm of the corneal stroma including Bowman's membrane. In group 2, the posterior stroma was exposed by delamination of the anterior 50% of the corneal stroma including Bowman's membrane. Delamination was performed after crosslinking treatment in the case of the treated eyes. In all eyes, the stromal elasticity was quantified using AFM through indentation. Young's modulus of elasticity for the anterior cornea (group 1) was 245.9±209.1kPa (range: 82.3-530.8kPa) for the untreated control eyes, and 467.8±373.2kPa (range: 157.4-1126kPa) for the CXL treated eyes. Young's modulus for the posterior cornea (group 2) was 100.2±61.9kPa (range: 28.1-162.6kPa) for the untreated control eyes and 66.0±31.8kPa (range: 31.3-101.7kPa) for the CXL treated eyes. Young's modulus of the anterior stroma significantly increased after CXL treatment (p=0.024), whereas the posterior stroma did not demonstrate a significant difference in Young's modulus after CXL treatment (p=0.170). The anterior stroma was stiffer than the posterior stroma for both the control and CXL treatment groups (p=0.077 and p=0.023, respectively). Our findings demonstrate that stiffness of the anterior corneal stroma after CXL treatment seems to increase significantly, while the posterior stroma does not seem to be affected by CXL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Eye Research
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013



  • Cornea
  • Crosslinking
  • Ectasia
  • Keratoconus
  • Mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this