Dynamic mechanical properties of human lenses

Exp Eye Res. 2005 Mar;80(3):425-34. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2004.10.010.


The purpose of this study was to determine the shear compliance of human crystalline lenses as a function of age and frequency. Dynamic mechanical analysis was performed on 39 human lenses, ranging in age from 18 to 90 years, within the frequency range of 0.001-30 Hz. The lenses were stored at -70 degrees C before being measured. The influence of freezing on the mechanical properties was determined using pairs of porcine lenses, with one lens measured directly after enucleation and the other after freezing. The measurement method had a repeatability standard deviation of 4 and 6% for the storage and loss compliance, respectively. The reproducibility standard deviation was 31 and 33% for the storage and loss compliance respectively. On average, freezing increased the storage compliance by 8% and increased the loss compliance by 32%, both depending slightly on age and frequency. The human lenses exhibited a distinct viscoelastic behavior. The storage and loss compliance depended strongly on age and decreased a factor 1000 over a lifetime. Dynamic mechanical analysis has proven to be a successful technique for characterizing the mechanical properties of the human crystalline lens. The shear compliance decreases exponentially with age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elasticity
  • Freezing
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Swine
  • Viscosity