Surface Metrology and 3-Dimensional Confocal Profiling of Femtosecond Laser and Mechanically Dissected Ultrathin Endothelial Lamellae

M.M. Dickman*, M.P. van Maris, F.W. van Marion, Y. Schuchard, P. Steijger-Vermaat, F.J. van den Biggelaar, T.T. Berendschot, R.M. Nuijts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE. To determine the feasibility of confocal profiling in measuring surface roughness and obtaining 3-dimensional reconstructions of mechanically dissected and femtosecond (fs)-laser photodisrupted endothelial lamellae. To determine the predictability of single-pass dissection of ultrathin endothelial lamellae using a novel motor-driven linear microkeratome.

METHODS. Thirty (n = 30) human corneas were harvested using a motor-driven linear microkeratome (n = 20); a hand-driven rotatory microkeratome (n = 6); and a 60-kHz fs laser (n = 4). Surface roughness was measured using an optical profiler operated in confocal microscopy mode followed by environmental scanning-electron-microscopy.

RESULTS. Mean surface roughness for the fs laser, motor-driven linear microkeratome, and hand-driven rotatory microkeratome measured 1.90 +/- 0.48 mu m, 1.06 +/- 0.42 mu m, and 0.93 +/- 0.25 mu m, respectively. Femtosecond photodisrupted lamellae were significantly rougher than mechanically dissected lamellae (P <0.001). Mean (+/- SD) cutting depth with the motor-driven linear microkeratome measured: 552 +/- 11 mu m (550-mu m head); 505 +/- 19 mu m (550-mu m head); 459 +/- 19 mu m (450-mu m head); and 392 +/- 20 mu m (400-mu m head).

CONCLUSIONS. Confocal microscopy allows quantitative surface roughness analysis and 3-dimensional reconstruction of human corneal lamellae. Femtosecond-laser photodisruption at 60 kHz results in rougher surfaces compared with mechanical dissection. The motor-driven linear microkeratome allows single-pass dissection of ultrathin endothelial lamellae with a standard deviation

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5183-5190
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • surface metrology
  • ultrathin grafts
  • endothelial keratoplasty
  • femtosecond laser
  • mechanical microkeratome
  • CUT
  • PASS

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