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There is a high variation of chromatic dispersion with contemporary intraocular lens (IOL) materials. It is well known that chromatic aberration limits the optical performance especially with high-power lenses. Lens manufacturers, however, rarely provide data on the chromatic dispersion of their materials, limiting the comparability of available materials. This study aimed to analyze chromatic dispersion of hydrophobic and hydrophilic IOLs without prior knowledge of the IOLs' geometries. We adapted Bessel's method for measuring focal length by placing the IOL in a wet cell. The chromatic dispersion of several hydrophobic and hydrophilic IOLs was characterized by measuring their focal lengths at multiple wavelengths. From the measured focal lengths, the refractive indices and the Abbe numbers were obtained. We measured four hydrophobic and two hydrophilic IOL models with a nominal power of 21 to 29.5 D. The hydrophobic IOLs had lower Abbe numbers (Abbe numbers <41) than did the hydrophilic IOLs (Abbe numbers >50). Most Abbe numbers were in agreement with the values provided by the IOL manufacturers, and the measurements were independent from IOL power. The repeatability for the Abbe number was better than ±3.5% for all lenses and better than ±2% for lenses between 21 and 26.5 D. The dispersion could be described by a Conrady model (R > 0.997). The hydrophobic materials showed larger dispersion than did the hydrophilic IOL materials resulting in increased chromatic aberration. The method allowed for an estimation of the IOL's Abbe number without prior knowledge of IOL geometry.


Timo Eppig, Antonia Rawer, Peter Hoffmann, Achim Langenbucher, Simon Schröder. On the Chromatic Dispersion of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Intraocular Lenses. Optometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry. 2020 Apr;97(4):305-313

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PMID: 32304541

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