Purpose: Ocular epithelial layers are fundamental for the physiology of the eye as they regulate water transport. The purpose of this review is to discuss the existing mathematical models of water transport across these layers.
Methods: We detail the physical mechanisms that can induce water transport across epithelial layers and describe how they can be mathematically modelled.
Results: We consider 3 ocular epithelial layers. The first is the epithelium of the ciliary processes, which is responsible for aqueous humour production. The second is the corneal endothelium (functionally an epithelium), which plays a key role in maintaining the delicate hydration state of the cornea. The third is the retinal pigment epithelium, which actively removes water from the retina by pumping it into the choroid.
Conclusion: Owing to the difficulty of obtaining direct measurements of water fluxes across epithelial layers, mathematical models can significantly improve our understanding of this field. For instance, they can help develop insight and predictive capability concerning the role of different ion channels, transporters, exchangers, and pumps, as well as carbon dioxide hydrolysis, in ocular water transport processes. Likewise, they can elucidate the importance of the various mechanisms and associated parameters that are involved.
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