Phase Separation of Cytoplasma in the Lens

  • Toyoichi Tanaka
  • Izumi Nishio
  • Shao-Tang Sun
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 73)


We would like to present our study on the phase separation of cytoplasma in the animal lens with application to cataract diseases. The. following subjects will be discussed: 1) The protein-water mixture does undergo phase separation and shows critical phenomena; 2) the cold cataract, which is the opacification of an excised lens of a young vertebrate upon lowering the temperature, is a manifestation of the phase separation of the lens cytoplasma; 3) the nuclear opacity, which appears in the lens of a galactosemic rat is due to such phase separation; and 4) the diffusivity of protein molecules in the lens cytoplasma can be determined in vivo using the technique of laser light scattering spectroscopy. The protein diffusivity is a direct measure of the susceptibility of the lens to the phase separation.


Phase Separation Radial Position Fiber Cell Coexistence Curve Lens Protein 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toyoichi Tanaka
    • 1
  • Izumi Nishio
    • 1
  • Shao-Tang Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Center for Materials Science and EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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