S. P. Srinivas
Fluorescein permeability of the corneal epithelium is affected in dry eye disease, contact lens wear, aging, and diabetes. In humans, measurements of fluorescein permeability are carried out by determining penetration of topical single topical drop of fluorescein. The measurements are poorly repeatable and report a potentially due to large physiological variations and lack of sensitivity at concentrations of the dye. The objective of my lab’s work is to establish an improved method to measure permeability based on sequential instillation of topical fluorescein.
We have developed instruments to measure fluorescein permeability through the corneal epithelial. Our ocular fluorometer is based on the concept of a slit- lamp microscope, a device commonly used in ophthalmology. The device enables sensitive measurements in the presence of ambient light by using a lock- in amplifier to detect emission. In the absence of inner filter effects, fluorescence is proportional to the concentration of the fluorophore. The instruments can be used to conduct tear flow measurements, pO2 measurements and much more.
STEM Summer Scholars will work on a research project using one of the custom devices to make measurements with fluorescein on the eye. Scholars will choose a research project, collaboratively complete a research plan and protocol, and complete the research under the guidance of Dr. Srinivas. Scholars will be exposed to many aspects of working in a research lab and will gain extensive knowledge of the structures and functions of the eye, specifically the cornea.