Specific hydraulic conductivity of corneal stroma as seen by quick-freeze/deep-etch

D. Overby*, J. Ruberti, H. Gong, T. F. Freddo, M. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Previous studies of the hydraulic conductivity of connective tissues have failed to show a correspondence between ultrastructure and specific hydraulic conductivity. We used the technique of quick-freeze/deep-etch to examine the ultrastructure of the corneal stroma and then utilized morphometric studies to compute the specific hydraulic conductivity of the corneal stroma. Our studies demonstrated ultrastructural elements of the extracellular matrix of the corneal stroma that are not seen using conventional electron microscopic techniques. Furthermore, we found that these structures may be responsible for generating the high flow resistance characteristic of connective tissues. From analysis of micrographs corrected for depth-of-field effects, we used Carmen-Kozeny theory to bound a morphometrically determined specific hydraulic conductivity of the corneal stroma between 0.46×10-14 and 10.3×10-14 cm2. These bounds encompass experimentally measured values in the literature of 0.5×10-14 to 2×10-14 cm2. The largest source of uncertainty was due to the depth-of-field estimates that ranged from 15 to 51 nm; a better estimate would substantially reduce the uncertainty of these morphometrically determined values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)

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