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- PublicationRate of riboflavin diffusion from intrastromal channels before corneal crosslinkingPurpose To determine the diffusion of riboflavin from intrastromal channels through the effective diffusion coefficients compared with traditional axial diffusion with epithelium on or off. Setting Advanced Optical Imaging Laboratory, University College Dublin, and Wellington Eye Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin, Ireland. Design Experimental study. Methods The rate of diffusion in whole-mounted porcine eyes was monitored for a 30 minutes using an optical setup with a charge-coupled device camera and a bandpass filter (central wavelength 550 nm and 40 nm bandpass) to image the fluorescence under ultraviolet illumination (365 nm wavelength). For comparison, an isotropic corneal stroma with an annular channel was modeled numerically for different diffusion constants and boundary conditions. Results Numerical and experimental results were compared, allowing determination of the effective diffusion coefficient for each case. Experimental results for 6 different riboflavin solutions were in all cases found to be higher than for the common crosslinking (CXL) riboflavin protocol, where the diffusion constant is D0 = 6.5 × 10-5 mm2/sec. For the intrastromal channel, 2 isotonic solutions containing riboflavin 0.1% correlated with a diffusion constant of 5D0 = 32.5 × 10-5 mm2/sec. Hypotonic solutions and transepithelium had a higher diffusion coefficient approaching 10D0 = 65.0 × 10-5 mm2/sec, which is an order-of-magnitude increase compared with the typical diffusion coefficient found in standard CXL. Conclusions In this study, riboflavin had a faster stromal diffusion when injected into a corneal channel than when applied as drops to the anterior corneal surface. Further numerical modeling might allow optimization of the channel structure for any specific choice of riboflavin.
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