Browsing by Subject "MEIBUM"

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  • Paananen, Riku O.; Javanainen, Matti; Holopainen, Juha M.; Vattulainen, Ilpo (2019)
    Dry eye syndrome (DES), one of the most common ophthalmological diseases, is typically caused by excessive evaporation of tear fluid from the ocular surface. Excessive evaporation is linked to impaired function of the tear film lipid layer (TFLL) that covers the aqueous tear film. The principles of the evaporation resistance of the TFLL have remained unknown, however. We combined atomistic simulations with Brewster angle microscopy and surface potential experiments to explore the organization and evaporation resistance of films composed of wax esters, one of the main components of the TFLL. The results provide evidence that the evaporation resistance of the TFLL is based on crystalline-state layers of wax esters and that the evaporation rate is determined by defects in the TFLL and its coverage on the ocular surface. On the basis of the results, uncovering the nonequilibrium spreading and crystallization of TFLL films has potential to reveal new means of treating DES.
  • Bland, Helena C.; Moilanen, Jukka A.; Ekholm, Filip S.; Paananen, Riku O. (2019)
    Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a prevalent disease in which the tear film homeostasis is compromised. One of the main causes of DES is thought to be an alteration in the composition of the outermost layer of the tear film, the tear film lipid layer (TFLL), resulting in an increased evaporation of water from the tear film and subsequent drying of the ocular surface. Recent studies have suggested that the specific TFLL lipids, namely, O-aryl-omega-hydroxy fatty acids (OAHFAs) and diesters (DiEs), may play a role in the development of DES. However, their specific connection to DES has remained largely unknown until now because of the lack of information on their biophysical properties and their role in the TFLL. Herein, we have addressed this issue by studying the biophysical properties and evaporation resistance of a library containing 10 synthetic analogues of TFLL OAHFAs and DiEs. Our results show how the variations of chain length and polar groups affect the phase behavior of these lipids at the tear film surface. In addition, the results revealed that the OAHFAs exhibiting a liquid-expanded to solid phase transition formed films with high evaporation resistance, whereas the DiEs were found to have no evaporation resistance. Altogether, our results shed new light on the role of the OAHFAs and DiEs in the TFLL and their connection to DES, suggesting that OAHFAs are likely a key lipid class in maintaining the TFLL evaporation resistance.
  • Viitaja, Tuomo; Moilanen, Jukka; Svedstrom, Kirsi Johanna; Ekholm, Filip S.; Paananen, Riku O. (2021)
    In healthy eyes, the tear film lipid layer (TFLL) is considered to act as an evaporation resistant barrier, which prevents eyes from drying. Seeking to understand the mechanisms behind the evaporation resistance of the TFLL, we studied mixtures of lipid layer wax esters and O-acyl-omega-hydroxy fatty acids. Analyzing their self-assembly and biophysical properties led to new discoveries concerning the structure and function of the TFLL. We discovered how these lipids self-assemble at the air-water interface and form an efficient antievaporative barrier, demonstrating for the first time how the interaction of different tear film lipid species can improve the evaporation resistance compared with individual lipid classes on their own. These results provide a potential mechanism for the evaporation resistance of the lipid layer. In addition, the results serve as a base for the future development of improved dry eye treatments and other applications where the evaporation of water represents a significant challenge.