Abstract

The limbus is the structurally rich transitional region of tissue between the cornea on one side, and the sclera and conjunctiva on the other. This zone, among other things, contains nerves passing to the cornea, blood and lymph vasculature for oxygen and nutrient delivery and for waste, CO2 removal and drainage of the aqueous humour. In addition, the limbus contains stem cells responsible for the existence and healing of the corneal epithelium. Here we present 3D images of the healthy human limbus, acquired in vivo with a spectral domain optical coherence tomography system operating at 1060nm. Cross-sectional and volumetric images were acquired from temporal and nasal locations in the human limbus with ~3µm x 18µm (axial x lateral) resolution in biological tissue at the rate of 92,000 A-scans/s. The imaging enabled detailed mapping of the corneo-scleral tissue morphology, and visualization of structural details such as the Vogt palisades, the blood and lymph vasculature including the Schlemm’s canal and the trabecular meshwork, as well as corneal nerve fiber bundles. Non-invasive, volumetric, high resolution imaging reveals fine details of the normal human limbal structure, and promises to provide invaluable information about its changes in health and disease as well as during and after corneal surgery.

© 2011 OSA

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2010

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2009

2008

M. V. Sarunic, S. Asrani, and J. A. Izatt, “Imaging the ocular anterior segment with real-time, full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 126(4), 537–542 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2007

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

2006

D. V. Patel, T. Sherwin, and C. N. McGhee, “Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy of the normal human corneoscleral limbus,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47(7), 2823–2827 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005

Y. Feng and T. L. Simpson, “Comparison of human central cornea and limbus in vivo using optical coherence tomography,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 82(5), 416–419 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2003

2001

K. M. Meek and N. J. Fullwood, “Corneal and scleral collagens--a microscopist’s perspective,” Micron 32(3), 261–272 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Oliveira-Soto and N. Efron, “Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy,” Cornea 20(4), 374–384 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2000

H. S. Dua and A. Azuara-Blanco, “Limbal stem cells of the corneal epithelium,” Surv. Ophthalmol. 44(5), 415–425 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1996

A. F. Fercher, “Optical coherence tomograohy,” J. Biomed. Opt. 1(2), 157–999 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1993

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “Investigation of limbal touch sensitivity using a Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 77(6), 339–343 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1991

W. M. Townsend, “The limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 89, 721–756 (1991).
[PubMed]

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “The structure of corpuscular nerve endings in the limbal conjunctiva of the human eye,” J. Anat. 177, 75–84 (1991).
[PubMed]

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1982

M. F. Goldberg and A. J. Bron, “Limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 80, 155–171 (1982).
[PubMed]

1978

T. Tervo and A. Palkama, “Ultrastructure of the corneal nerves after fixation with potassium permanganate,” Anat. Rec. 190(4), 851–859 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1973

A. J. Bron, “Vortex patterns of the corneal epithelium,” Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. U. K. 93(0), 455–472 (1973).
[PubMed]

1957

D. M. Maurice, “The structure and transparency of the cornea,” J. Physiol. 136(2), 263–286 (1957).
[PubMed]

Asrani, S.

M. V. Sarunic, S. Asrani, and J. A. Izatt, “Imaging the ocular anterior segment with real-time, full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 126(4), 537–542 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Aung, T.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Azuara-Blanco, A.

H. S. Dua and A. Azuara-Blanco, “Limbal stem cells of the corneal epithelium,” Surv. Ophthalmol. 44(5), 415–425 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Baumann, B.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bilonick, R. A.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bizheva, K.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Brennen, P. M.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bron, A. J.

M. F. Goldberg and A. J. Bron, “Limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 80, 155–171 (1982).
[PubMed]

A. J. Bron, “Vortex patterns of the corneal epithelium,” Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. U. K. 93(0), 455–472 (1973).
[PubMed]

Chang, W.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chen, Z.

Chew, P. T. K.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Christopoulos, V.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chuck, R.

Dhaliwal, D. K.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Dua, H. S.

H. S. Dua and A. Azuara-Blanco, “Limbal stem cells of the corneal epithelium,” Surv. Ophthalmol. 44(5), 415–425 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Duker, J. S.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Efron, N.

L. Oliveira-Soto and N. Efron, “Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy,” Cornea 20(4), 374–384 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Feng, Y.

Y. Feng and T. L. Simpson, “Comparison of human central cornea and limbus in vivo using optical coherence tomography,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 82(5), 416–419 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fercher, A. F.

A. F. Fercher, “Optical coherence tomograohy,” J. Biomed. Opt. 1(2), 157–999 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Flotte, T.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Folio, L. S.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Foster, P. J.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Friedman, D. S.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fujimoto, J. G.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fullwood, N. J.

K. M. Meek and N. J. Fullwood, “Corneal and scleral collagens--a microscopist’s perspective,” Micron 32(3), 261–272 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Gabriele, M. L.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Goldberg, M. F.

M. F. Goldberg and A. J. Bron, “Limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 80, 155–171 (1982).
[PubMed]

Gora, M.

Goto, H.

Götzinger, E.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Gregory, K.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hariri, S.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hee, M. R.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hitzenberger, C. K.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Huang, D.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Huber, R.

Hutchings, N.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hyun, C.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Ishikawa, H.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Iwaya, K.

Izatt, J. A.

M. V. Sarunic, S. Asrani, and J. A. Izatt, “Imaging the ocular anterior segment with real-time, full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 126(4), 537–542 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Jungwirth, J.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kagemann, L.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kaluzny, B. J.

Karnowski, K.

Kawana, K.

Keunen, J. E. E.

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Klevering, B. J.

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kowalczyk, A.

Lawrenson, J. G.

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “Investigation of limbal touch sensitivity using a Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 77(6), 339–343 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “The structure of corpuscular nerve endings in the limbal conjunctiva of the human eye,” J. Anat. 177, 75–84 (1991).
[PubMed]

Lin, C. P.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Liu, Y. H.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Makita, S.

Maurice, D. M.

D. M. Maurice, “The structure and transparency of the cornea,” J. Physiol. 136(2), 263–286 (1957).
[PubMed]

McGhee, C. N.

D. V. Patel, T. Sherwin, and C. N. McGhee, “Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy of the normal human corneoscleral limbus,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47(7), 2823–2827 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Meek, K. M.

K. M. Meek and N. J. Fullwood, “Corneal and scleral collagens--a microscopist’s perspective,” Micron 32(3), 261–272 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Miura, M.

Miyazawa, A.

Moayed, A. A.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nelson, J.

Nolan, W. P.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Oliveira-Soto, L.

L. Oliveira-Soto and N. Efron, “Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy,” Cornea 20(4), 374–384 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Palkama, A.

T. Tervo and A. Palkama, “Ultrastructure of the corneal nerves after fixation with potassium permanganate,” Anat. Rec. 190(4), 851–859 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Papas, E. B.

E. B. Papas, “The limbal vasculature,” Cont. Lens Anterior Eye 26(2), 71–76 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Patel, D. V.

D. V. Patel, T. Sherwin, and C. N. McGhee, “Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy of the normal human corneoscleral limbus,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47(7), 2823–2827 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Pircher, M.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Puliafito, C. A.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Reiser, B.

Ruskell, G. L.

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “Investigation of limbal touch sensitivity using a Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 77(6), 339–343 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “The structure of corpuscular nerve endings in the limbal conjunctiva of the human eye,” J. Anat. 177, 75–84 (1991).
[PubMed]

Sarunic, M. V.

M. V. Sarunic, S. Asrani, and J. A. Izatt, “Imaging the ocular anterior segment with real-time, full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 126(4), 537–542 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Schuman, J. S.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

See, J. L.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Selvam, S.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Sherwin, T.

D. V. Patel, T. Sherwin, and C. N. McGhee, “Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy of the normal human corneoscleral limbus,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47(7), 2823–2827 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Simpson, T. L.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. Feng and T. L. Simpson, “Comparison of human central cornea and limbus in vivo using optical coherence tomography,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 82(5), 416–419 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Singh, M.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Smith, R. E.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Smith, S. D.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Song, S. W.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Sorbara, L.

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Srinivasan, V.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Stinson, W. G.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Swanson, E. A.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Szkulmowski, M.

Tervo, T.

T. Tervo and A. Palkama, “Ultrastructure of the corneal nerves after fixation with potassium permanganate,” Anat. Rec. 190(4), 851–859 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Theelen, T.

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Thomas, P. B.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Townsend, W. M.

W. M. Townsend, “The limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 89, 721–756 (1991).
[PubMed]

Trousdale, M. D.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Wang, Y.

Wesseling, P.

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Windeler, R.

Wojtkowski, M.

M. Gora, K. Karnowski, M. Szkulmowski, B. J. Kaluzny, R. Huber, A. Kowalczyk, and M. Wojtkowski, “Ultra high-speed swept source OCT imaging of the anterior segment of human eye at 200 kHz with adjustable imaging range,” Opt. Express 17(17), 14880–14894 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wollstein, G.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Yamanari, M.

Yasuno, Y.

Yiu, S. C.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Zheng, C.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Zhuang, F. F.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Am. J. Ophthalmol.

M. Singh, T. Aung, D. S. Friedman, C. Zheng, P. J. Foster, W. P. Nolan, J. L. See, S. D. Smith, and P. T. K. Chew, “Anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy blebs before and after laser suture lysis,” Am. J. Ophthalmol. 143(5), 873–875 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Anat. Rec.

T. Tervo and A. Palkama, “Ultrastructure of the corneal nerves after fixation with potassium permanganate,” Anat. Rec. 190(4), 851–859 (1978).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Arch. Ophthalmol.

V. Christopoulos, L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, M. L. Gabriele, M. Wojtkowski, V. Srinivasan, J. G. Fujimoto, J. S. Duker, D. K. Dhaliwal, and J. S. Schuman, “In vivo corneal high-speed, ultra high-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 125(8), 1027–1035 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. V. Sarunic, S. Asrani, and J. A. Izatt, “Imaging the ocular anterior segment with real-time, full-range Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography,” Arch. Ophthalmol. 126(4), 537–542 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Br. J. Ophthalmol.

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “Investigation of limbal touch sensitivity using a Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer,” Br. J. Ophthalmol. 77(6), 339–343 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cont. Lens Anterior Eye

E. B. Papas, “The limbal vasculature,” Cont. Lens Anterior Eye 26(2), 71–76 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cornea

L. Oliveira-Soto and N. Efron, “Morphology of corneal nerves using confocal microscopy,” Cornea 20(4), 374–384 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol.

T. Theelen, P. Wesseling, J. E. E. Keunen, and B. J. Klevering, “A pilot study on slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography imaging of trabeculectomy filtering blebs,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 245(6), 877–882 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.

L. Kagemann, G. Wollstein, H. Ishikawa, R. A. Bilonick, P. M. Brennen, L. S. Folio, M. L. Gabriele, and J. S. Schuman, “Identification and assessment of Schlemm’s canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(8), 4054–4059 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N. Hutchings, T. L. Simpson, C. Hyun, A. A. Moayed, S. Hariri, L. Sorbara, and K. Bizheva, “Swelling of the human cornea revealed by high-speed, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 51(9), 4579–4584 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. V. Patel, T. Sherwin, and C. N. McGhee, “Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy of the normal human corneoscleral limbus,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47(7), 2823–2827 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Anat.

J. G. Lawrenson and G. L. Ruskell, “The structure of corpuscular nerve endings in the limbal conjunctiva of the human eye,” J. Anat. 177, 75–84 (1991).
[PubMed]

J. Biomed. Opt.

J. Jungwirth, B. Baumann, M. Pircher, E. Götzinger, and C. K. Hitzenberger, “Extended in vivo anterior eye-segment imaging with full-range complex spectral domain optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 14(5), 050501 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. F. Fercher, “Optical coherence tomograohy,” J. Biomed. Opt. 1(2), 157–999 (1996).
[CrossRef]

J. Physiol.

D. M. Maurice, “The structure and transparency of the cornea,” J. Physiol. 136(2), 263–286 (1957).
[PubMed]

Micron

K. M. Meek and N. J. Fullwood, “Corneal and scleral collagens--a microscopist’s perspective,” Micron 32(3), 261–272 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mol. Vis.

P. B. Thomas, Y. H. Liu, F. F. Zhuang, S. Selvam, S. W. Song, R. E. Smith, M. D. Trousdale, and S. C. Yiu, “Identification of Notch-1 expression in the limbal basal epithelium,” Mol. Vis. 13, 337–344 (2007).
[PubMed]

Opt. Express

Optom. Vis. Sci.

Y. Feng and T. L. Simpson, “Comparison of human central cornea and limbus in vivo using optical coherence tomography,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 82(5), 416–419 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Science

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, “Optical coherence tomography,” Science 254(5035), 1178–1181 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Surv. Ophthalmol.

H. S. Dua and A. Azuara-Blanco, “Limbal stem cells of the corneal epithelium,” Surv. Ophthalmol. 44(5), 415–425 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc.

M. F. Goldberg and A. J. Bron, “Limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 80, 155–171 (1982).
[PubMed]

W. M. Townsend, “The limbal palisades of Vogt,” Trans. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 89, 721–756 (1991).
[PubMed]

Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. U. K.

A. J. Bron, “Vortex patterns of the corneal epithelium,” Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc. U. K. 93(0), 455–472 (1973).
[PubMed]

Other

D. J. Spalton, R. A. Hitchings, and P. A. Hunter, Clinical Ophthalmology (Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1984).

“Anatomy of the human eye,” http://www.images.missionforvisionusa.org/anatomy/2005/10/cornea-histology.html .

http://www.bu.edu/histology/p/08005loa.htm , Reproduced with permission from Prof. Deborah W. Vaughan.

Supplementary Material (2)

» Media 1: MOV (4686 KB)     
» Media 2: MOV (4223 KB)     

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

A representative cross-sectional UHROCT tomogram of the human corneo-scleral limbus acquired from a temporal location (A). The blue arrow marks the corneal epithelium; the orange, the termination of the basal cell layer of the corneal epithelium in the limbus; the green, the bulbar conjunctiva; and the red, limbal blood or lymph vessels. 1B is a magnified view of the corneal epithelium marked with the red square in 1A. 1C shows a representative histology of the healthy human cornea [27]. Black dashed arrows in 1B and 1C mark the basal cell layer of the corneal epithelium, solid black arrows mark the Bowman’s membrane, and red arrows mark the nuclei of keratocyte cells in the corneal stroma.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Comparison between H&E histology of the human corneal limbus [28] (A) and a representative UHROCT tomogram of the human temporal limbus acquired in vivo (B). Red arrows mark at the corneal endothelium, white arrows the Schlemm’s canal, and black arrows the trabecular meshwork (TM).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Representative UHROCT tomograms of the normal human limbus acquired in vivo from temporal (A-D) and nasal (E,F) locations. Blue and green arrows mark the cornea and the bulbar conjunctiva, respectively. Red arrows mark corneal nerves.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Frames from movies (Media 1 and Media 2) based on volumetric temporal scans of the human limbus. Dimensions: 1000 x 350x256 (A-scans x pixels x B-scans). The orientation of the en-face sections form the 3D stack are marked with red lines in the human eye diagrams.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Selected en-face frames from Media 1 (Fig. 4A). White arrows in (A) mark the low scattering locations in the limbus between the ridges of the Vogt palisades that house corneal stem cells. The black arrows in (A-D) mark a network of micro-channels that connect the cornea with the sclera at different depths in the limbus. In (C,D) white arrows mark the blood and lymph vessels in the sclera, while in (E,F) they point at channel like features connecting the cornea with the sclera that are most likely part of the trabecular meshwork.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Selected frames Media 2 (Fig. 4B). Black arrows (B-E) mark cross-sections of the micro-channels that extend from the cornea toward the sclera. White arrows mark cross-section of the blood and lymph vessels in the sclera (E) and the trabecular meshwork (F).

Metrics