Morphometric analysis of in vitro human crystalline lenses using digital shadow photogrammetry

Ashik Mohamed, Heather A. Durkee, Siobhan Williams, Fabrice Manns, Arthur Ho, Jean Marie A. Parel, Robert C. Augusteyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is a great need for accurate biometric data on human lenses. To meet this, a compact tabletop optical comparator, the minishadowgraph, was built for measuring isolated eye lens shape and dimensions while the lens was fully immersed in supporting medium. The instrument was based around a specially designed cell and an illumination system which permitted image recording in both sagittal and equatorial (coronal) directions. Data were acquired with a digital camera and analyzed using a specially written MATLAB program as well as by manual measurements in image analysis software. The possible effect of lens orientation and gravity on the dimensions was examined by measuring dimensions with anterior or posterior surfaces up and by measuring lenses with calipers after removal from the minishadowgraph cell. Dimensions, curvatures and shape factors were obtained for 134 fully accommodated lenses ranging in age from birth to 88 years postnatal. Of these, 41 were from donors aged under 20 years, ages which are generally of limited availability. Thickness and diameter showed the same age-related trends described in previous studies but, for the lenses measured in air, age-dependent differences were observed in thickness (−5 to 0%) and diameter (+5 to 0%), consistent with gravitational sag. Anterior and posterior radii of curvature of the central 3 or 6 mm, depending on lens diameter, increase with age, with the anterior increase greater than the posterior. The anterior surface shape of the neonatal lens is that of a prolate ellipse and the posterior, an oblate ellipse. Both surfaces become hyperbolic after age 20. The data presented here on dimensions, shape and sagging will be of great value in assessing age-related changes in the optical and mechanical performance of the lens. In particular, the comprehensive data set from donors aged under 20 years provides a unique and valuable insight to the changes in size and shape during the early dynamic growth period of the lens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108334
JournalExperimental Eye Research
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Conic shape factors
  • Dimensions
  • Gravitational sag
  • Human lens
  • Minishadowgraph
  • Radius of curvature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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