Off-campus University of Miami users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your University of Miami CaneID and Password.

Non-University of Miami users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Biomedical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Noël Ziebarth

Second Committee Member

Edward Dauer

Third Committee Member

Alicia Jackson

Fourth Committee Member

Fabrice Manns

Fifth Committee Member

Vincent Moy


Techniques were developed to characterize the structural and dynamic properties of the human lens capsule in its in situ location surrounding the lens. It was hypothesized that both properties change significantly with age, potentially contributing to the development of age-related cataracts. The nanostructure of the outer surface of the human lens capsule was imaged via atomic force microscopy. Transport of proteins relevant to lens biology was quantified within the human lens capsule using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. Results indicate that both the ultrastructure and transport properties of the human lens capsule change with age. It was concluded that the dynamic transport property of the lens capsule cannot be predicted solely by its structure. Further research using these novel techniques may be conducted to determine the effectiveness of potential carriers for the pharmacological prevention and treatment of cataract.


Lens Capsule; Atomic Force Microscopy; Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching; Characterization