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Scanning transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy study of sunflower cataract in Wilson’s disease

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session 17: Cataract Surgery Outcomes 4

Session Date/Time: Monday 15/09/2014 | 15:00-17:00

Paper Time: 16:30

Venue: Pod 2 (Poster Village)

First Author: : C.Choi SOUTH KOREA

Co Author(s): :    J. Lee              

Abstract Details


To investigate the nanostructure and elemental composition in the lens capsule of sunflower cataract in Wilson’s disease (WD).


Sungkyunkwan university, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul, Korea


The ophthalmic characteristics with WD have been known as diagnostically important manifestations. In previous studies, copper accumulation in liver with WD had been proved. However, in case of the sunflower cataract, one of the rare diagnostic signs in WD, there was no study that has demonstrated copper accumulation in lens capsule of sunflower cataract. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) study was done with the capsulorhexised anterior lens capsule of sunflower cataract in WD, evaluating anatomical variation and elemental change for the present study. We made use of energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to investigate elemental composition of lens capsule using both point and mapping spectroscopy and also quantitative analysis was performed for relative comparison of elements.


TEM showed the presence of multiple granular deposits of varying size at the posterior one third of anterior capsule. There was no electron-dense particles in the epithelial cell layer of the lens. Copper and sulfur peak revealed consistently in electron dense granular deposit, on the contrary in other tissues including granule-free lens capsule and epithelial tissue they were absent. Most copper was exclusively located at cluster of electron dense particles and the copper distribution overlapped with sulfur on mapping spectroscopy. Quantitative analysis presented inconsistent ratio of copper to sulfur from each electron dense granule.


This is the first elemental analysis of single electron particle in sunflower cataract using EDS in ophthalmic area. Linear shape of copper and sulfur deposition was detected in various sizes and composition ratio with those elements in WD.

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