On the correlation between the curvature of the human eyelash and its geometrical features

Hironori Tohmyoh, Mitsuharu Ishihara, Kaori Ikuta, Tomoko Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although human eyelashes are generally curved, the cause of the natural curvature of eyelashes has not yet to be clarified elsewhere. Related with this, this paper reports our discovery of a correlation between the curvature of the eyelash and its geometrical features. Eyelashes can be divided into root, middle and tip sections. Because the curvature at the root is larger than that at the tip, we expected that the root section could be more easily deformed by bending compared with the tip section. However, the structural elasticity in bending, which is the flexural rigidity without depending on the external dimensions, at the root was found to be greater than that at the tip, contrary to our initial expectations. Next we examined the internal dimensions of cross sections of the eyelashes, and found that the thicknesses of the cuticle layer at the root were different for the convex and concave sides of the curved eyelash, although these were almost the same at the tip. Theoretical analysis of this variation in thickness of the outer cuticle layer shows that this displaces the neutral axis. Finally, we found that there is a good correlation between the displacement of the neutral axis and the curvature of the eyelash. Statement of Significance: Why are human eyelashes naturally curved? To find a hint for this question, the mechanical and geometrical properties of human eyelash were investigated. Although the curvature at the root of the eyelash was larger than that at the tip, this was not related to the deformability of the eyelash by bending. From the cross-sectional observation of eyelash, we noticed that the thickness of the outer cuticle layer was non-uniform depending on the position, and this brought the displacement of the neutral axis of the eyelash for bending. Finally, a good correlation between the curvature and the change in the neutral axis was discovered. With practically using this findings, the curvature of the eyelash might be controlled artificially in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug

Keywords

  • Curvature
  • Cuticle
  • Human eyelash
  • Neutral axis for bending
  • Structural elasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'On the correlation between the curvature of the human eyelash and its geometrical features'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this