Simultaneous Corneal Hydration Thickness And Hydration Measurement Through Multi-Spectral Reflectometry

Tech ID: 27552 / UC Case 2015-151-0


UCLA Researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel technology to simultaneously detect changes in thickness and hydration levels of the cornea.


Regulating water content is a major component of corneal biology as it is essential in transmission and focusing properties of the cornea and hydration levels of the cornea are indicative of cornea pathology. Fuchs dystrophy is a slowly progressing corneal dystrophy that causes the cornea to hyperphydrate and affects up to 4% of the population over 40, or approximately 5.7 million adults in the US. Currently the only cure for Fuchs dystrophy is corneal transplant, however, better diagnostic techniques which enabled early detection of disease progression could delay the need for surgery. Current practices limit corneal tissue water content (CTWC) measurement to central corneal thickness (CCT) and are extrapolated to outer regions. These diagnostic techniques assume that corneal hydration levels correlate with CCT which is not true, therefore, corneal hydration detection methods to date have been inaccurate or unsafe.


By leveraging the unique thin film properties of the cornea, Professor Taylor and colleagues have developed a technology which significantly improves the accuracy and sensitivity of corneal hydration sensing. This technology simultaneously detects the thickness and hydration levels of corneal tissue by using multiple-frequency measurements in the terahertz range. By combining spectroscopic measurement capability with novel imaging and scanning architectures, this methodology enables accurate measurement of CTWC gradients across the cornea.


  • Ophthalmology (measurement of hydration level of cornea)
  • Detection of inflammation, immune responses, edema and other diseases in the cornea
  • Thin film measurements


  • Accurate, quantitative measurement of corneal tissue hydration across the entire span of the cornea
  • Does not rely on extrapolation from central corneal thickness to measure corneal tissue water content

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20190117109 04/25/2019 2015-151
European Patent Office Published Application 3442398 02/20/2019 2015-151


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  • Grundfest, Warren S.

Other Information


Corneal sensing and imaging, corneal hydration and thickness, terahertz illumination

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