The purpose of this study is the mechanical characterization of the mid-to- old-age human anterior lens capsules (ALCs) obtained by capsulorhexis using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and a nanoindenter at different spatial scales. The dependencies on the human age, presence or absence of pseudoexfoliation syndrome (PEX), and application of trypan blue staining during the surgery were analyzed. The measurements on both the anterior (AS) and epithelial (ES) sides of the ALC were conducted and the effect of cells present on the epithelial side was carefully accounted for. The ES of the ALC had a homogenous distribution of the Young’s modulus over the surface as shown by the macroscale mapping with the nanoindenter and local AFM indentations, while the AS was more heterogeneous. Age-related changes were assessed in groups ranging from the mid-age (from 48 years) to old-age (up to 93 years). We found that the ES was always stiffer than the AS, and this difference decreased with age due to a gradual decrease in the Young’s modulus of the ES and an increase in the modulus of the AS. No significant changes were found in the mechanical properties of ALCs of PEX patients versus the PEX-free group, as well as in the properties of the ALC with and without trypan blue staining.
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