The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Fluid mechanics...

Scientific stuff....

A new look at lubrication of the ocular surface: fluid mechanics behind the blinking eyelids.
Ocul Surf. 2008 Apr;6(2):79-86.
Cher I.

The concept of the dacruon was presented by the author in this journal in July 2007. Dacruon, defined as "the body of unshed fluid, constantly occupying the ocular surface sac [OSS], comprising the mucoaqueous pool [MAP] and its covering lipid sealant," prompts a fresh consideration of OSS lubrication. The author notes scientific agreement that in the preocular, interpalpebral OSS (the menisco-optical domain), the mucous gel of the MAP adheres to subjacent bulbar epithelium. In the retropalpebral recesses (the "lubrication domain"), lid and globe epithelia are juxtaposed. The author proposes that microvilli and glycocalyx "grasp" the bases of dacruon mucous gels, enabling lid and globe to "drive" fluid movement. The adherent gels and associated low viscosity mucous modules mitigate friction. There is no substantive lipid layer. The modules abut, "mirror-image" fashion, forming an interface concentric with the eyeball surface about midway between the palpebral and bulbar mucosae. Here, kinetic energy originating from both lid and globe has been progressively dissipated by fluid friction, residual movement reduced to creeping flow. Shear stress is displaced from the rapidly moving epithelia, to occur between the more remote, slow-moving midzone fluids, minimizing frictional blink-related microtrauma. The midway interface serves as a "slip interface," crucial to the mucoaqueous lubrication of the OSS. Concomitantly, the OSS also forms the anterior lubricating compartment of the "ball and socket" ocular joint.