Understanding the dynamics of biological colloids to elucidate cataract formation and develop a methodology for its early diagnosis
The eye lens is the most characteristic example of mammalian tissues exhibiting complex colloidal behaviour. In this paper we briefly describe how dynamics in colloidal suspensions can help addressing selected aspects of lens cataract which is ultimately related to the protein self-assembly under pathological conditions. Results from dynamic light scattering of eye lens homogenates over a wide protein concentration were analyzed and the various relaxation modes were identified in terms of collective and self-diffusion processes. Using this information as an input, the complex relaxation pattern of the intact lens nucleus was rationalized. The model of cold cataract - a phase separation effect of the lens cytoplasm with cooling - was used to simulate lens cataract at in vitro conditions in an effort to determine the parameters of the correlation functions that can be used as reliable indicators of the cataract onset. The applicability of dynamic light scattering as a non-invasive, early-diagnostic tool for ocular diseases is also demonstrated in the light of the findings of the present paper.
- Pub Date:
- November 2008
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter;
- Physics - Biological Physics;
- Quantitative Biology - Tissues and Organs
- Slightly different version from the published one 10 pages, 2 figures