Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 24 pp 12497—12531

Age-related changes in eye lens biomechanics, morphology, refractive index and transparency

Figure 11. 3D mesh and 2D contour plots of the gradient of refractive index (GRIN) in whole eyes from mice between 2 weeks to 24 months of age. Plots are through the mid-sagittal plane and the mid-coronal plane passing through each central lens nucleus. The anterior of the eye (A), the posterior of the eye (P) and the lens (L) are marked on the mid-sagittal views of the 2-week-old eye. The dotted line through the 2D sagittal view of the 2-week-old eye represents the location of the mid-coronal 3D and 2D heat maps. All images are oriented in the same direction. Colors reflect the magnitude of refractive index from low refractive index in dark blue (1.30) to high refractive index in dark red (1.55). The areas with highest refractive index are the lens. Mouse lens GRIN profiles are two-tiered with a ring of indentation (bright yellow) clearly seen in the 3D mesh plots. There is a cap region of high refractive index (red and orange) and a bottom region (yellow and green). There is an increase in the size of the cap region with age. These data show that GRIN in mouse lens develops by 2 weeks of age, and there is a rapid increase and plateau of maximum refractive index at the center of the lens with age.