A CATARACT may be defined as a loss of transparency of the crystalline lens, or an opacification occurring at any place in the lens or its capsule.1 The mechanism for this opacification has been the subject of extensive research. Since the lens is a living, cellular organ, we may expect that changes in its protein structure are primarily involved in any alteration of its optical behavior. The optical properties of protein systems in general have excited only minor interest, as such data are of vital concern only in the cornea, lens, and vitreous body of the eye. It has been shown, however, that physical and chemical alterations of such proteins as muscle myosin, gelatin, and fibrin produce marked alterations in such optical properties as polarization of light, transparency, and absorption in various portions of the energy spectrum.2
It has been shown that the cornea owes its transparency to
HART WM, PECKHAM RH. CHANGES IN SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF THE GROWING CRYSTALLINE LENS: A Technique for Investigation of Pathogenesis of Cataract. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1953;50(2):174–178. doi:10.1001/archopht.1953.00920030179005
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