Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Eye Protection
02 January 2014

Eye Protection

Our eyes are protected by a tear film produced by a lacrimal gland and leaked into our eyes via tear ducts. This gland secretes water, for eyelid lubrication, and various proteins, which both moisturise the eyes and kill off any harmful microorganisms. A malfunction of the lacrimal gland will lead to dry eye disease and consequential damage to the protective tissue lining the front of the cornea. This is extremely uncomfortable for the sufferer and will result in substantial vision loss. Current treatments, including eye drops of artificial tears, are not ideal. However, recent research efforts have led to the development of a fully functioning bioengineered lacrimal gland. When engrafted into the natural lacrimal gland of mice it successfully replaces its function. Here we see time-lapsed development (left to right) of the natural lacrimal gland (top row) and the bioengineered version (bottom row).

Written by Helen Thomas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.