London: In a major breakthrough, scientists have spotted a new layer in the human eyes. The layer has been named as Dua’s layer after academic Professor Harminder Dua of Nottingham University who is credited to stop the new layer in the human cornea.

According to the scientists and the research scholars, this discovery will help surgeons to further improve results of the corneal grafting and its transplantations. The discovery is also likely to reveal various aspects of number of diseases related to cornea, like acute hydrops, descematocele and pre-descemet’s dystrophies.

Cornea is a transparent layer that is formed in front of the eye. Until now, only five layers of cornea had been identified. Dua layer has been identified as the sixth layer in human eyes.

“This is a major discovery which will mean that ophthalmology textbooks will literally need to be re-written,” said Dua, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
"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. 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," he said.
The scientists proved the existence of the layer by simulating human corneal transplants and grafts on eyes donated for research purposes to eye banks located in Bristol and Manchester.

During this surgery, tiny bubbles of air were injected into the cornea to gently separate the different layers. Then the scientists subjected the separated layers to electron microscopy, allowing to study them at many thousand times of their actual size.

Dua’s layer measures just 15 microns thick (more than 25,000 microns equals 1 inch). It is located at the back of the cornea between the corneal stroma and Descemet’s membrane. The scientists now believe that Corneal hydrops, a bulging of the cornea caused by fluid buildup that occurs in patients with keratoconus (conical deformity of the cornea), is caused by a tear in the Dua’s layer, through which water from inside the eye rushes in and causes waterlogging.

The study has been published in The Academic Journal of Opthalmology.


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