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Refractive indices of the collagen fibrils and extrafibrillar material of the corneal stroma.

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PMC
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  • Chemistry
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Abstract

Ultrastructural data from x-ray diffraction studies of the cornea were used to estimate the refractive indices of the collagen fibrils and extrafibrillar material of human, ox, trout, and rabbit corneas. X-ray diffraction measurements of the size and spacing of the collagen fibrils and the separation between the constituent molecules of the fibrils were taken from a previous species study. The tissue volume fractions occupied by the stromal components were estimated and their refractive indices were calculated using the Gladstone-Dale law of mixtures. For the fibrils and extrafibrillar material, the refractive indices in the human cornea were 1.411 and 1.365; for the ox 1.413 and 1.357; for the rabbit 1.416 and 1.357; and for the trout 1.418 and 1.364, respectively. An alternative estimate based on the physical properties and chemical composition of bovine cornea, accounting for interfibrillar type VI collagen and cellular water, produced similar estimates of 1.416 and 1.356 for the fibrils and extrafibrillar material, respectively.

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