Birefringence of the human crystalline lens in vivo

J Opt Soc Am A. 1991 Nov;8(11):1788-93. doi: 10.1364/josaa.8.001788.


We studied aspects of the birefringence in the human crystalline lens. With the use of Mueller-matrix ellipsometry in vivo on both accommodated and unaccommodated eyes, we found no difference between the associated retardations. We calculated form birefringence of the lens by interpreting the membranes of the lens fiber cells as Wiener bodies. The resulting retardation for a light beam that passes the lens as in the experiments exceeds by far the measured total retardation. We conclude that form and intrinsic birefringence of the lens cancel out.

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular
  • Adult
  • Birefringence
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mathematics