Optomechanical response of human and monkey lenses in a lens stretcher

Fabrice Manns, Jean Marie Parel, David Denham, Christian Billotte, Noel Ziebarth, David Borja, Viviana Fernandez, Mohammed Aly, Esdras Arrieta, Arthur Ho, Brien Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To quantify the forces necessary to change the shape and optical power of human and monkey lenses. METHODS. Cynomolgus monkey (n = 48; age: 3.8-11 years), rhesus monkey (n = 35; age: 0.7-17 years) and human (n = 20, age 8-70 years) eyes obtained postmortem, including the lens, capsule, zonules, ciliary body, and sclera were mounted in an optomechanical lens-stretching system. Starting at zero load, the lenses were symmetrically stretched in a stepwise fashion in 0.25- or 0.5-mm steps. The load, lens diameter, inner ciliary body diameter, and lens power were measured at each step and the diameter- and power-load responses were quantified. RESULTS. The diameter- and power-load responses were found to be linear in the physiologically relevant range of stretching. The average change in cynomolgus, rhesus, and human lens diameter, respectively, was 0.094, 0.109, and 0.069 mm/g in young lenses, and 0.069, 0.067, and 0.036, mm/g in older lenses. For the same lenses, the average change in lens power was -3.73, -2.83, and -1.22 D/g in young lenses and -2.46, -2.16, and -0.49 D/g in older lenses. CONCLUSIONS. The force necessary to change the lens diameter and lens power increases with age in human and monkey lenses. The results agree with the Helmholtz theory of accommodation and with presbyopia theories that predict that the force required to disaccommodate the lens increases with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3260-3268
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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