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Klinik für Augenheilkunde

Biomechanical properties of the human cornea

Research focus

The cornea is essential for the optical system of the eye. The biomechanical properties of the human cornea are involved in the pathogenesis of different corneal ectatic diseases like keratoconus. Deformation, thinning and scarring of the cornea lead to visual impairment of affected patients. However, the exact biomechanical mechanisms underlying the disease remain unclear.

In recent years, treatment options for ectatic corneal diseases were expanded with the introduction of corneal collagen crosslinking. This method uses riboflavin and UV-light to induce cross-links between collagen lamellae, ultimately leading to an increased stability of the cornea. Clinical studies showed the beneficial effect of corneal crosslinking for keratoconus. Currently there are multiple different treatment protocols available. However, at present the central question whether the different protocols are equally effective remains unanswered.

Our research focuses on the biomechanical properties of the human cornea and their impairment in corneal ectatic diseases. Furthermore, we investigate the influence of treatment options like corneal crosslinking on the biomechanics of the cornea.

Projects and selected publications

  1. Prospective, randomized, double-blind trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of corneal cross-linking to halt the progression of keratoconus.

    Lang SJ, Messmer EM, Geerling G, Mackert MJ, Brunner T, Dollak S, Kutchoukov B, Böhringer D, Reinhard T, Maier P.

    BMC Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul 21;15:78. doi: 10.1186/s12886-015-0070-7.

  2. Long-term results of allogenic penetrating limbo-keratoplasty: 20 years of experience.

    Lang SJ, Böhringer D, Geerling G, Reinhard T.

    Eye (Lond). 2017 Mar;31(3):372-378. doi: 10.1038/eye.2016.217. Epub 2016 Oct 21.

  3. Connection of histological corneal endothelial cell count with endothelial cell density before penetrating keratoplasty.

    Lang SJ, Freysoldt A, Böhringer D, Reinhard T, Auw-Haedrich C.

    Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2016 Oct;254(10):1993-1997. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

  4. Analysis of the changes in keratoplasty indications and preferred techniques.

    Lang SJ, Bischoff M, Böhringer D, Seitz B, Reinhard T.

    PLoS One. 2014 Nov 11;9(11):e112696. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112696. eCollection 2014.

  5. Instrumented indentation for determination of mechanical properties of human cornea after ultraviolet-A crosslinking.

    Nohava J, Swain M, Lang SJ, Maier P, Heinzelmann S, Reinhard T, Eberwein P.

    J Biomed Mater Res A. 2018 May;106(5):1413-1420. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36337. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

    PMID: 29318768

Principal Investigator

PD Dr. med. S. J. Lang, MD, FEBO






Research Interests

  • Anterior Segment
  • Routine Data Research
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Disease
  • Ophthalmic Pathology


Group Members

Bero Bressler, B.Sc.

Robert Lohmüller, M.Sc.

Andrea Ross, MD student

René Pöttke, Lab Technician



Dr. J.U. Werner, University Eye-Hospital Ulm



Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Deutsche Opththalmologische Gesellschaft