In-vitro evaluation of the evaporation retardation by Meibomian lipids in homogeneous and non-homogeneous evaporation Article uri icon


  • Hypothesis: An important function of the Tear Film Lipid Layer (TFLL) is the retardation of evaporation. We propose two micro-scaled systems to quantify the influence of the TFLL in evaporation for single patients, which may contribute as an improvement on the diagnosis of Meibomian Gland Dysfunctions (MGD). Experiments: Meibum was extracted from 10 patients with hypersecretory MGD and 9 healthy controls. The lipids were placed over water, and the evaporation was determined in the case of homogeneous evaporation over a surface (pendant drop), and the case where the evaporation depends on a pinned triple contact line (meniscus). Findings: For the homogeneous case, the presence of Meibum reduced evaporation in 30%25, although there was no significant difference between controls and MGD patients. However, evaporation induced by menisci was 25 %25 higher in MGD patients. Our results contribute to the evidence of the inhibition of evaporation by Meibum. Our study also suggests that the evaporation induced by contact points may be a more relevant model to measure differences in evaporation due to the composition of Meibum. This model may also have connotations in the occurrence of internal stresses in the tear film, inducing its instability. © 2022 Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • 2022-01-01