Studying the Effects of Ultraviolet-A Radiation on the Crystalline Lens

Several factors contribute to the ageing of the eye over a lifetime, leading to visual impairments.  One of these factors is ultraviolet-A (UVA, 320-400nm) radiation, which influences the crystalline lens in particular. 

First, annual dosages were calculated based on various factors (latitude, altitude, etc) and scaled according to what percentage reached the crystalline lens.  Next, this dosage was replicated on an experimental lens system.  The crystalline lenses was imaged before and after the dosage, using the previously assembled Laser Ray Tracing (LRT) system.  The LRT system is used to determine optical properties. 

The data showed a change in the shape and geometry of the lens.  Also, the components of the lens were altered such that the refractive index values changed.  Refractive index values determine how light bends through the lens.

Figure 1: The colour in these images represent the refractive index values, which determine how light bends through the lens. Left shows the lens before UVA exposure, right shows the lens after UVA exposure.

Author: Carrie Burgess


Collaborators:  Dr Ehsan Vaghefi

Funding details: Marsden Project fund

Status: Funded and running