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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 404587, 12 pages
Research Article

Imaging Mass Spectrometry by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization and Stress-Strain Measurements in Iontophoresis Transepithelial Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking

1Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, Rozzano, Italy
2Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, Eye Clinic, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
3Department of Ophthalmology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
4University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany
5Department of Surgical and Morphological Sciences, Section of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Insubria, Via Guicciardini 9, Varese, Italy
6Ophthalmology Unit, Department of Neurological Neuropsychological, Morphological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Received 28 April 2014; Accepted 14 August 2014; Published 2 September 2014

Academic Editor: Leonardo Mastropasqua

Copyright © 2014 Paolo Vinciguerra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To compare biomechanical effect, riboflavin penetration and distribution in transepithelial corneal collagen cross-linking with iontophoresis (I-CXL), with standard cross linking (S-CXL) and current transepithelial protocol (TE-CXL). Materials and Methods. The study was divided into two different sections, considering, respectively, rabbit and human cadaver corneas. In both sections corneas were divided according to imbibition protocols and irradiation power. Imaging mass spectrometry by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI-IMS) and stress-strain measurements were used. Forty-eight rabbit and twelve human cadaver corneas were evaluated. Results. MALDI-IMS showed a deep riboflavin penetration throughout the corneal layers with I-CXL, with a roughly lower concentration in the deepest layers when compared to S-CXL, whereas with TE-CXL penetration was considerably less. In rabbits, there was a significant increase (by 71.9% and ) in corneal rigidity after I-CXL, when compared to controls. In humans, corneal rigidity increase was not significantly different among the subgroups. Conclusions. In rabbits, I-CXL induced a significant increase in corneal stiffness as well as better riboflavin penetration when compared to controls and TE-CXL but not to S-CXL. Stress-strain in human corneas did not show significant differences among techniques, possibly because of the small sample size of groups. In conclusion, I-CXL could be a valid alternative to S-CXL for riboflavin delivery in CXL, preserving the epithelium.