An In Vitro of an Eye Lens

Publication Year



eye lens, in vitro, cells, cell and tissue cultures, biology, physiology


Anatomy | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Physiology


Maintaining living cells and organs in vitro has received a considerable amount of attention during the last decade. The progress made with cell cultures and tissue cultures has been very impressive. Typical of this progress have been the work of Erik Zeuthen on xynchronized growth of cells and that of Theodore T. Puck on irradiated tissue cultures. Only slightly less impressive has been the development of organ cultures. Worthy of special mention are the achievements made with the intact lends. Aside from the obvious medical importance of having this important organ in a "test tube" for study, it offers an unique opportunity to examine important physiological and biochemical phenomena not generally possible with separated-cell and cell-layer cultures. This arises from a number of factors: (1) the eye lens has no blood supply--it depends on the aqueous humor to provide nutrients and to remove waste products; (2) it has no nerve supply; and (3) it is surrounded by a capsule--all of which make the lens relatively easy to remove, manipulate, and nurture artificially. Hence, the lens provides an ideal experimental material for the study of the metabolism and permeability of an organ in vitro for considerable periods of time, up to several days.

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