Programm                 "Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"

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Micromorphological changes in the corneal epithelium - Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy with the Rostock Cornea Module

Stave J.1, Zhivov A.1, Vollmar B.2, Guthoff R.1
1Eye Clinic , University of Rostock; 2University Surgery Clinic, Department of the Exp. Surgery, Rostock

Purpose: The therapy of various degenerative or inflammatory corneal diseases with pathological changes of epithelium, nerves, keratocytes and endothelium has a better chance for recovery when existing early information about the type of infection. Here the confocal laser scanning microscopy is a useful instrument for the early diagnosis. Supported information could be the reduction of thickness of epithelium, changes of cells or the attendence of leucocytes and Langerhans cells near the basal membrane, micro cysts, degeneration of nervs and alterations of the endothelium.
Method: We modified in cooperation with Heidelberg Engineering / Heidelberg , the HRT II by adding a detachable objective system, the so-called Rostock Cornea Module combined with a fine-thread or hydraulic z-drive to shift the focal plane in the cornea. A long-focal length, water-immersion objective with a large aperture was selected to obtain a high magnification. During the examination the distance between the cornea and the microscope is kept stable by a contact element. An HRT II novelty is that the z-shift between images is stepped, i.e., the z-value remains constant during imaging. So we have no a oblique optical section in direction z. The identification of the L

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