Dynamic changes in the air–tear film interface modulation transfer function

  • Teresa Ferrer-Blasco
  • Santiago García-Lázaro
  • Robert Montés-Micó
  • Alejandro Cerviño
  • Jose M. González-Méijome



To determine objectively the changes in the optical quality of the air–tear film interface by measuring the modulation transfer function (MTF) of the anterior surface of the film.


Air–tear film interface MTF was determined from the wavefront aberration obtained from corneal elevation maps and custom software. MTF and Strehl ratio were derived for 3 (photopic) and 7 (mesopic) mm pupils, in 14 healthy young subjects at various intervals after a blink (1 second up to 15 seconds). Fluorescein tear break-up times (TBUT) measured by a standard method were determined for clinical correlation purposes


The MTF profile varies as a function of the time post-blink, showing the highest values at 6–7 seconds. Strehl ratio showed a similar dynamic pattern reaching its maximum level, on average, at 6.2 ± 0.4 seconds after a blink. Minimum levels occur from 10 seconds after a blink, worsening with larger times. Strehl ratio values were correlated with clinical TBUT: minimum values were found to occur earlier for those subjects with shorter TBUT and vice versa.


Air–tear film interface MTF and Strehl ratio estimation are useful metrics for optical quality analysis of tear film changes.


Tear Optical quality Ocular surface 



This research was supported in part by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación Research Grants to Robert Montés-Micó (#SAF2008-01114-E/# and #SAF2009-13342-E#)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Ferrer-Blasco
    • 1
  • Santiago García-Lázaro
    • 1
  • Robert Montés-Micó
    • 1
  • Alejandro Cerviño
    • 1
  • Jose M. González-Méijome
    • 2
  1. 1.Optometry Research Group, Optics Department, Faculty of PhysicsUniversity of ValenciaBurjassotSpain
  2. 2.Clinical & Experimental Optometry Research Lab, School of SciencesUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal

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