In-vitro recording of forward light-scatter by human lens capsules and different types of posterior capsule opacification

Maartje C J van Bree, Ivanka J E van der Meulen, Luuk Franssen, Joris E Coppens, Bart L M Zijlmans, Thomas J T P van den Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the effect of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) on the straylight domain of visual function. PCO is heterogeneous with regard to morphology and severity; both aspects contribute to its functional effect. The isolated impact of capsule areas with specific morphology and severity on straylight was studied in-vitro by recording forward light-scatter. Forward light-scatter by four different capsule types, i.c. anterior capsule (AC), clear posterior capsule (PC), fibrotic and regeneratory PCO, was recorded at several visual angles with a goniometer, using different wavelengths. Angular (θ(a)) and wavelength dependencies (λ(b)) were studied by determining exponents a and b. Recorded straylight values of isolated capsule areas varied between 10× below to 10× above the value normal for the human eye, depending on the capsule's condition (clear to opacified). The angular dependence of light scattered by clear PCs was weaker, whereas in the other capsule types it was stronger than in the normal eye. On average, the wavelength dependence of light scattered by different capsule types was similar, but the variation was considerable. At the smallest visual angles, increased angular and decreased wavelength dependence was found, especially in fibrotic and regeneratory PCO. It was concluded that the range of straylight values found in-vitro in lens capsules properly corresponded to that found previously in in-vivo pseudophakics. Surprisingly, the wavelength dependence of PCO indicated that small-particle light-scattering is important in PCO. Refractile effects were more important at small visual angles, as indicated by the combined stronger angular and weaker wavelength dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-46
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Capsule Opacification/pathology
  • Glare
  • Gonioscopy
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Posterior Capsule of the Lens/radiation effects
  • Scattering, Radiation


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