Corneal absorption spectra in the deep UV range.

Inniger, Dominik; Poretti, Alessio; Ryser, Manuel; Meier, Christoph; Rathjen, Christian; Feurer, Thomas (2022). Corneal absorption spectra in the deep UV range. Journal of biomedical optics, 27(2) SPIE International Society for Optical Engineering 10.1117/1.JBO.27.2.025004

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Refractive surgery in ophthalmology uses pulsed lasers at 193, 210, or 213 nm. The reason is that most molecular constituents of cornea absorb strongly in this wavelength range. Precise refractive surgery via ablation requires an accurate knowledge of the absorption coefficient at the relevant wavelengths. Yet, the absorption coefficients of corneal tissue reported in literature vary by almost an order of magnitude; moreover, they were measured mostly at the wavelengths mentioned earlier.


By measuring the corneal absorption coefficient of intact eyeballs stored at different environmental conditions, prepared by following different procedures, and as a function of postmortem time, we determine the absorption coefficient for the entire wavelength range between 185 and 250 nm for as close as possible to in-vivo conditions.


We use a specially designed UV ellipsometer to measure refractive index and absorption coefficient. Specifically, we investigate the temporal evolution of refractive index and absorption coefficient after enucleation of the eyeballs under different environmental conditions and preparation procedures.


Our measurements provide accurate values for refractive index as well as absorption coefficient of cornea in the wavelength range between 185 and 250 nm. We find that the absorption coefficient decreases with time and that neither storage conditions nor preparation procedures but a continuous degeneration of the cornea is responsible for the observed time evolution. We use the measured time evolution to extrapolate refractive index and absorption coefficient to in-vivo conditions.


Our measurements of the close to in-vivo absorption coefficient of cornea between 185 and 250 nm allow for a better understanding and modeling of refractive cornea surgery, also at other than the three commonly used wavelengths. In the future, this may be relevant when new pulsed laser sources with other wavelengths become available.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Lasers

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Inniger, Dominik, Ryser, Manuel, Feurer, Thomas


600 Technology > 620 Engineering




SPIE International Society for Optical Engineering




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

01 Mar 2022 13:46

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:11

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

absorption ellipsometry ophthalmology refractive index ultraviolet




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