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June 1950

STUDIES ON THE CRYSTALLINE LENS: I. Technic for in Vitro Culture of Crystalline Lenses and Observations on Metabolism of the Lens

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Chemistry, Boston University, and the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;43(6):979-988. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910010996003

THE NEED for an in vitro method of cultivating lenses which would be suitable for performing quantitative metabolic studies over periods of twelve to twenty-four hours gave rise to the present investigation. The apparently limitless possibilities for experimentation on the lens, were it possible to maintain lenses in a normal physiologic state for a relatively indefinite period, stimulated us to perform several preliminary experiments, using different culture mediums, in an attempt to establish such conditions. In this paper a technic is described for culturing lenses, as well as observations on changes in carbohydrate metabolism—a sensitive index of damage—which lenses undergo when incubated in different mediums for periods of approximately a week.

Previous methods of culturing lenses have been based on a perfusion technic devised by de Haan.1 Bakker,2 for example, placed rabbit lenses in a shallow air-tight and water-tight glass chamber and then perfused the lenses with sterile

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