The Dry Eye Zone

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Study: Meibum lipids, tear lipids...

...Something tells me this study is interesting, I just don't know why... If anyone wants to enlighten me, feel free!

Temperature-induced conformational changes in human tearlipids hydrocarbon chains.
Biopolymers. 2007 Oct 5-15;87(2-3):124-33.Click here to read Links
Borchman D, Foulks GN, Yappert MC, Ho DV.

As a first step to characterize human meibum and tear lipids, infrared spectroscopy was applied to characterize the molecular structure/conformation and packing of hydrocarbon chains. Temperature-induced phase transitions were fit to a sigmoid equation and were experimentally reproducible and were similar for multiple samples collected from the same person. No hysteresis was observed. Hydration of polar tear lipids increased their phase transition cooperativity, enthalpy and entropy. Hydrophobic interactions in meibum lipid (ML) were stronger than in tear-fluid lipids (TL), as reflected by the higher entropy and enthalpy of the gel to liquid crystalline phase transition of ML. The results of this study provide further evidence of the differences in the composition and structure of ML and TL. The conformational changes observed in the hydrocarbon chains of ML with temperature suggest that the observed therapeutic increased delivery of ML with eye lid heating could be related to the increased disorder in the packing of the hydrocarbon tails. This work also highlights the power of infrared spectroscopy to characterize molecular structure/conformation, and packing of human tear lipids and provides a basis for future studies of tear film lipid composition-structure-function relationships and lipid-protein interactions in relation to age, sex, and dry eye symptoms.