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Rheological properties of the vitreous and the role of hyaluronic acid

Nickerson, Charles S. and Park, John and Kornfield, Julia A. and Karageozian, Hampar (2008) Rheological properties of the vitreous and the role of hyaluronic acid. Journal of Biomechanics, 41 (9). pp. 1840-1846. ISSN 0021-9290.

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Coordinated rheological and biochemical measurements provide the linear and nonlinear mechanical properties of the vitreous and demonstrate the structural role of hyaluronic acid. “Cleated” tools are used to overcome wall slip and avoid tissue compression during measurements of the dynamic moduli of fresh porcine and bovine vitreous. Shear moduli decreased five-fold from initial to steady-state values in the first hour after dissection. Steady-state values (porcine: G′=2.8±0.9 Pa, n=9; bovine: G′=7.0±2.0 Pa, n=17) are significantly greater than previously reported. The decrease in modulus after removal from the eye correlates with a decrease in mass: even in the absence of external driving forces, porcine vitreous expels ∼5% of its mass within 5 min and continues to decay to a steady-state mass ∼10% lower than its initial mass. The expelled fluid has a substantial hyaluronan concentration, but very low protein content. These results indicate that the vitreous network is under tension at its native volume and its high initial modulus results from this state of tension. We hypothesize that hyaluronan plays a role in sustaining the “internal tension” by Donnan swelling.

Item Type:Article
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Kornfield, Julia A.0000-0001-6746-8634
Additional Information:© 2008 Elsevier Ltd. Accepted 8 April 2008, Available online 4 June 2008. The authors wish to thank Prof. Zhen-Gang Wang and Jennifer Witman for discussions regarding network tension. Funding was provided by Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc. C.S.N. is an ARCS Foundation scholar. Conflict of interest: Two of us (J.P. and H.K.) are employees and stockholders of Vitreoretinal Technologies.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Rheology; Eye; Hyaluronan; Biomechanics; Tension
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200716-141332435
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Official Citation:Charles S. Nickerson, John Park, Julia A. Kornfield, Hampar Karageozian, Rheological properties of the vitreous and the role of hyaluronic acid, Journal of Biomechanics, Volume 41, Issue 9, 2008, Pages 1840-1846, ISSN 0021-9290, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104411
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jul 2020 21:31
Last Modified:16 Jul 2020 21:31

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