Nondestructive quantification of analyte diffusion in cornea and sclera using optical coherence tomography

Mohamad G. Ghosn, Valery V. Tuchin, Kirill V. Larin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Noninvasive functional imaging, monitoring, and quantification of analytes transport in epithelial ocular tissues are extremely important for therapy and diagnostics of many eye diseases. In this study the authors investigated the capability of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for noninvasive monitoring and quantification of diffusion of different analytes in sclera and cornea of rabbit eyes. METHODS. A portable time-domain OCT system with wavelength of 1310 ± 15 nm, output power of 3.5 mW, and resolution of 25 μm was used in this study. Diffusion of different analytes was monitored and quantified in rabbit cornea and sclera of whole eyeballs. Diffusion of water, metronidazole (0.5%), dexamethasone (0.2%), ciprofloxacin (0.3%), mannitol (20%), and glucose solution (20%) were examined, and their permeability coefficients were calculated by using OCT signal slope and depth-resolved amplitude methods. RESULTS. Permeability coefficients were calculated as a function of time and tissue depth. For instance, mannitol was found to have a permeability coefficient of (8.99 ± 1.43) × 10 -6 cm/s in cornea and (6.18 ± 1.08) × 10-6 cm/s in sclera. The permeability coefficient of drugs with small concentrations (where water was the major solvent) was found to be in the range of that of water in the same tissue type, whereas permeability coefficients of higher concentrated solutions varied significantly. CONCLUSIONS. Results suggest that the OCT technique might be a powerful tool for noninvasive diffusion studies of different analytes in ocular tissues. However, additional methods of OCT signal acquisition and processing are required to study the diffusion of agents of small concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2726-2733
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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