-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- A previously undetected
layer has been discovered in the cornea, which is the clear window
at the front of the eye.
The finding could help improve results for people who undergo
corneal grafts and transplants, according to the researchers at the
University of Nottingham in England.
"This is a major discovery that will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be rewritten," Harminder Dua, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, said in a university news release. "Having identified this new and distinct layer deep in the tissue of the cornea, we can now exploit its presence to make operations much safer and simpler for patients."
Dua discovered the new layer, which is described in the journal
Ophthalmology. In his honor, the new layer has been called
"From a clinical perspective, there are many diseases that affect the back of the cornea, which clinicians across the world are already beginning to relate to the presence, absence or tear in this layer," Dua said.
The cornea is the clear protective lens on the front of the eye.
It was previously believed to have five layers. The new layer,
which is located near the back of the cornea, is just 15 microns
thick but it is incredibly tough, according to the study.
The researchers proved the existence of the new layer by
simulating corneal transplants and grafts on eyes donated for
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about the
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