Ryan Alderson

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Cindy L. Linn

Second Advisor

Dr. John Spitsbergen

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Eversole


Dry eye, biology, ocular research, eye, diagnostics

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The objective of this study will be to establish, validate, and characterize a dry eye model in female rats induced by continuous systemic administration of scopolamine via Alzet® osmotic pumps for 28 days. This study will use female rats as a model for dry eye and will be implanted with osmotic pumps that will continuously distribute scopolamine or saline systemically over 28 days. Scopolamine will be used to induce the dry eye condition and saline will be used as a negative control. The clinical signs of dry eye will be evaluated by tear volume measurements with sterilized phenol-red thread (FCI Opthalmics Zone Quick™), corneal staining with 0.2% sodium fluorescein (Novartis Pharmaceutials), and corneal thickness measurements. Ocular coherence tomography (OCT) images of the central cornea will be collected with the Spectralis HRA+OCT (Heidelberg Engineering) to measure thickness and corneal staining will be evaluated using a photographic slit lamp under cobalt blue light (Heidelberg Engineering). Topical medications currently available to treat dry eye will be used in the second phase of the study to validate that the condition is induced and confirm healing. This study will aid in understanding the unique characteristics of dry eye and its limitations to help provide further insight into the development of more effective therapeutic solutions of the condition.