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October 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1942;28(4):661-669. doi:10.1001/archopht.1942.00880100095007

Previously we have presented experimental data on the permeability and the swelling characteristics of the cornea.1 The purpose of the present report is to integrate these experimental findings into a theory of corneal function and to obtain thereby an explanation for some of the properties that are apparently unique to the cornea.

1. SYNOPSIS AND REVIEW  Corneal pieces show an extraordinary capacity to swell when immersed in various aqueous solutions, including blood serum and aqueous humor, regardless of the tonicity of the solution, the nature of the solvent or the hydrogen ion concentration. This property of imbibing fluid over and above the normal content, or, in other words. this characteristic of being maintained normally in a deturgesced state, distinguishes the cornea, in general, from other tissues. It is especially remarkable in comparison with the sclera, for scleral pieces swell little or not at all in solutions which result in

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