The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 889 - 902 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 8-9

Special Issue: Eye Development

Development of lens sutures

Open Access | Published: 1 November 2004

Jer R. Kuszak*,1, Rebecca K. Zoltoski2 and Clifford E. Tiedemann3

1Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology, Rush University Medical Center, 2Department of Basic and Health Sciences, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago and 3Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL USA


Cylindrical map projections (CMPs) have been used for centuries as an effective means of plotting the features of a 3D spheroidal surfaces (e.g. the earth) on a 2D rectangular map. We have used CMPs to plot primate fiber cell organization from selected growth shells as a function of growth, development and aging. Lens structural parameters and features were derived from slit-lamp, light and transmission and scanning electron micrographs. This information was then used to create CMPs of lenses that were then correlated with azimuthal map projections (AMPs; projections that are radially symmetric around a central point [the poles] ) to reveal different suture patterns during distinct time periods. In this manner, both lens fiber and suture branch locations are defined by degrees of longitude and latitude. CMPs and AMPs confirm that throughout defined periods of development, growth and ageing, increasingly complex suture patterns are formed by the precise ordering of straight and opposite end curvature fibers. However, the manner in which additional suture branches are formed anteriorly and posteriorly is not identical. Anteriorly, new branches are added between extant branches. Posteriorly, pairs of new branches are formed that progressively overlay extant branches. The advantage of using CMPs is that the shape and organization of every fiber in a growth shell can be observed in a single image. Thus, the use of CMPs to plot primate fiber cell organization has revealed more complex aspects of fiber formation that may explain, at least in part, changes in lens optical quality as a function of age and pathology. In addition, more accurate measurements of fiber length will be possible by incorporating the latitudinal and longitudinal locations of fibers.


crystalline lens, cylindrical map projection, azimuthal map projection, suture development, fiber cell organization, 3D CAD

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