The re-establishment of tissue continuity, function, and mechanical proper ties after a through-and-through incision is an important issue in corneal surgery and trauma. Variations in healing can affect vision and patient activity during the recovery period, which may last up to five years. Growth factors introduced into the open wound have the potential to speed up the wound-healing process. The current investigation is concerned with quantitatively characterizing the mechanical properties of corneal tissue and evaluating the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) on accelerating the wound-healing process as compared to a control group treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). A 30 day topical application period was employed to assess the influence of EGF, IGF, and PDGF versus PBS treated corneas following through-and-through incisions. Corneal test specimens were harvested at 3, 10, and 30 days postoperatively and subjected to uniaxial tension loading (perpendicular to the wound) with load and displacement values recorded. Gross strength properties of fracture toughness, peak tangent modulus, and peak stress were calculated and the stiffness characteristics of the test specimens were obtained through curve fitting of the stress - stretch ratio profile. Comparison of strength properties indicated that IGF application enhanced peak stress, tangent modulus, and fracture toughness at 3 and 10 days while EGF application produced dominant responses at 30 days. Stiffness characterization revealed enhanced stiffness with EGF at 3 and 30 days, while PDGF treatment showed dominant stiffness characteristics at 10 days. The results suggest that select growth factors may preferentially augment the time course of corneal wound healing.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Cornea--Wounds and injuries; Wound healing; Cornea--Mechanical properties; Biomechanics
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Ramier, James Charles, "Biomechanics of corneal wound healing" (1992). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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