Summary: The white, opaque, fibrous, outer tunic of the eyeball, covering it entirely excepting the segment covered anteriorly by the cornea. It is essentially avascular but contains apertures for vessels, lymphatics, and nerves. It receives the tendons of insertion of the extraocular muscles and at the corneoscleral junction contains the canal of Schlemm. (From Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)

Top Publications

  1. Hussain A, Lee Y, Zhang J, Marshall J. Characterization of the gelatinase system of the laminar human optic nerve, and surrounding annulus of Bruch's membrane, choroid, and sclera. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014;55:2358-64 pubmed publisher
    ..We determined the presence and levels of gelatinase matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the optic nerve and surrounding rim region of the human fundus...
  2. Braunsmann C, Hammer C, Rheinlaender J, Kruse F, Schäffer T, Schlötzer Schrehardt U. Evaluation of lamina cribrosa and peripapillary sclera stiffness in pseudoexfoliation and normal eyes by atomic force microscopy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:2960-7 pubmed publisher
    ..In this pilot study, the stiffness of LC and peripapillary sclera (ppSC) in eyes with and without PEX syndrome were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation.
  3. Summers J. The choroid as a sclera growth regulator. Exp Eye Res. 2013;114:120-7 pubmed publisher
    ..dependent mechanism that attempts to minimize refractive error through coordinated growth of the cornea, lens and sclera such that the axial length matches the focal length of the eye...
  4. Wang M, Zhang F, Qian X, Zhao X. Regional Biomechanical properties of human sclera after cross-linking by riboflavin/ultraviolet A. J Refract Surg. 2012;28:723-8 pubmed publisher
    To evaluate the biomechanical difference of human scleral collagen cross-linking (CXL) by comparing different riboflavin-instilling methods and different cross-linked regions (equatorial and posterior sclera).
  5. Ohno Matsui K, Akiba M, Modegi T, Tomita M, Ishibashi T, Tokoro T, et al. Association between shape of sclera and myopic retinochoroidal lesions in patients with pathologic myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:6046-61 pubmed publisher
    The purpose of the study was to analyze the shape of the sclera determined by swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) and to determine the relationship between the shape and the myopic retinochoroidal lesions.
  6. Jonas J, Jonas S, Jonas R, Holbach L, Panda Jonas S. Histology of the parapapillary region in high myopia. Am J Ophthalmol. 2011;152:1021-9 pubmed publisher
    ..To examine histomorphometrically the parapapillary region in highly myopic eyes...
  7. Girard M, Dahlmann Noor A, Rayapureddi S, Bechara J, Bertin B, Jones H, et al. Quantitative mapping of scleral fiber orientation in normal rat eyes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52:9684-93 pubmed publisher
    ..This is a report of baseline experimental measurements of fiber orientation in whole normal rat scleras...
  8. Fazio M, Grytz R, Bruno L, Girard M, Gardiner S, Girkin C, et al. Regional variations in mechanical strain in the posterior human sclera. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:5326-33 pubmed publisher
    The goal of this study was to establish sectorial and regional variability in the mechanical strain of peripapillary and mid-peripheral sclera in normal eyes from elderly human donors.
  9. Steinhart M, Cone F, Nguyen C, Nguyen T, Pease M, Puk O, et al. Mice with an induced mutation in collagen 8A2 develop larger eyes and are resistant to retinal ganglion cell damage in an experimental glaucoma model. Mol Vis. 2012;18:1093-106 pubmed
    ..To study susceptibility to glaucoma injury as it may be affected by mutations in ocular connective tissue components...

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Tang J, Liu J. Ultrasonic measurement of scleral cross-sectional strains during elevations of intraocular pressure: method validation and initial results in posterior porcine sclera. J Biomech Eng. 2012;134:091007 pubmed publisher
    ..The goal of this study is to develop and validate an ultrasound method for measuring cross-sectional distributive strains in the sclera during elevations of intraocular pressure (IOP).
  2. Palko J, Iwabe S, Pan X, Agarwal G, Kom romy A, Liu J. Biomechanical properties and correlation with collagen solubility profile in the posterior sclera of canine eyes with an ADAMTS10 mutation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:2685-95 pubmed publisher
    We examined the biomechanical properties and correlation with the collagen solubility profile of the posterior sclera in a canine model of primary open-angle glaucoma caused by the G661R missense mutation in the ADAMTS10 gene. ..
  3. Torres R, de Noronha L, Casella A, Grobe S, Martins I, Torres R, et al. Effect of olmesartan on leukocyte recruitment in choroid-sclera complex in hypercholesterolemia model. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013;29:709-14 pubmed publisher
    ..that the blockade of angiotensin II AT-1 receptors, through the systemic administration of olmesartan, can reduce the MCP-1 expression and the resulting macrophage accumulation in the choroid and sclera of hypercholesterolemic rabbits.
  4. Keenan T, Clark S, Unwin R, Ridge L, Day A, Bishop P. Mapping the differential distribution of proteoglycan core proteins in the adult human retina, choroid, and sclera. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:7528-38 pubmed publisher
    To examine the presence and distribution of proteoglycan (PG) core proteins in the adult human retina, choroid, and sclera.
  5. Park S, De Moraes C, Teng C, Tello C, Liebmann J, Ritch R. Enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography of deep optic nerve complex structures in glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2012;119:3-9 pubmed publisher
    ..To assess the usefulness of enhanced depth imaging (EDI) optical coherence tomography (OCT) for evaluating deep structures of the optic nerve complex (ONC; optic nerve head and peripapillary structures) in glaucoma...
  6. Pijanka J, Coudrillier B, Ziegler K, Sorensen T, Meek K, Nguyen T, et al. Quantitative mapping of collagen fiber orientation in non-glaucoma and glaucoma posterior human sclerae. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:5258-70 pubmed publisher
    The posterior sclera has a major biomechanical influence on the optic nerve head, and may therefore be important in glaucoma. Scleral material properties are influenced significantly by collagen fiber architecture...
  7. Zhou X, Ji F, An J, Zhao F, Shi F, Huang F, et al. Experimental murine myopia induces collagen type I?1 (COL1A1) DNA methylation and altered COL1A1 messenger RNA expression in sclera. Mol Vis. 2012;18:1312-24 pubmed
  8. Nguyen C, Cone F, Nguyen T, Coudrillier B, Pease M, Steinhart M, et al. Studies of scleral biomechanical behavior related to susceptibility for retinal ganglion cell loss in experimental mouse glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:1767-80 pubmed publisher
    To study anatomical changes and mechanical behavior of the sclera in mice with experimental glaucoma by comparing CD1 to B6 mice.
  9. Zhang Y, Zou C, Liu L, Cao L, Xia X, Li Z, et al. Effect of irradiation time on riboflavin-ultraviolet-A collagen crosslinking in rabbit sclera. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013;39:1184-9 pubmed publisher
    To determine the effect of the duration of irradiation on the biomechanical parameters of combined riboflavin-ultraviolet-A (UVA) collagen crosslinking (CXL) in rabbit sclera.
  10. Coudrillier B, Tian J, Alexander S, Myers K, Quigley H, Nguyen T. Biomechanics of the human posterior sclera: age- and glaucoma-related changes measured using inflation testing. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:1714-28 pubmed publisher
    The objective of this study was to measure the biomechanical response of the human posterior sclera in vitro and to estimate the effects of age and glaucoma.
  11. Guo L, Frost M, He L, Siegwart J, Norton T. Gene expression signatures in tree shrew sclera in response to three myopiagenic conditions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:6806-19 pubmed publisher
    We compared gene expression signatures in tree shrew sclera produced by three different visual conditions that all produce ocular elongation and myopia: minus-lens wear, form deprivation, and dark treatment.
  12. Frost M, Norton T. Alterations in protein expression in tree shrew sclera during development of lens-induced myopia and recovery. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:322-36 pubmed publisher
    ..there is regulated remodeling of the scleral extracellular matrix (ECM) that controls the extensibility of the sclera. Difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) was used to identify and categorize proteins whose levels are altered in ..
  13. Morris H, Tang J, Cruz Perez B, Pan X, Hart R, Weber P, et al. Correlation between biomechanical responses of posterior sclera and IOP elevations during micro intraocular volume change. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013;54:7215-22 pubmed publisher
    This study tested the hypothesis that intraocular pressure (IOP) elevations, induced by controlled increase of intraocular volume, are correlated with the biomechanical responses of the posterior sclera.
  14. Grytz R, Fazio M, Girard M, Libertiaux V, Bruno L, Gardiner S, et al. Material properties of the posterior human sclera. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2014;29:602-17 pubmed publisher
    To characterize the material properties of posterior and peripapillary sclera from human donors, and to investigate the macro- and micro-scale strains as potential control mechanisms governing mechanical homeostasis...
  15. Totan Y, Karadag R. Trocar-assisted sutureless intrascleral posterior chamber foldable intra-ocular lens fixation. Eye (Lond). 2012;26:788-91 pubmed publisher
  16. Lin H, Wan L, Tsai Y, Liu S, Chen W, Tsai S, et al. Sclera-related gene polymorphisms in high myopia. Mol Vis. 2009;15:1655-63 pubmed
    ..fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and fibromodulin (FMOD) are important extracellular matrix components of the sclera and have been shown to be associated with the development of high myopia...
  17. Backhouse S, Phillips J. Effect of induced myopia on scleral myofibroblasts and in vivo ocular biomechanical compliance in the guinea pig. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:6162-71 pubmed publisher
    ..To examine the effect of induced myopia on scleral myofibroblast populations and in vivo ocular biomechanical compliance...
  18. Kadam R, Kompella U. Cassette analysis of eight beta-blockers in bovine eye sclera, choroid-RPE, retina, and vitreous by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2009;877:253-60 pubmed publisher
    ..nadolol, pindolol, timolol, metoprolol, betaxolol and propranolol) in various bovine eye tissues including sclera, choroid-RPE, retina, and vitreous...
  19. Krause L, Bechrakis N, Heimann H, Salditt S, Foerster M. Implantation of scleral fixated sutured posterior chamber lenses: a retrospective analysis of 119 cases. Int Ophthalmol. 2009;29:207-12 pubmed publisher
    ..Anterior chamber lenses and their side effects can also be avoided, particularly in cases of unilateral aphakia and contact lens incompatibility...
  20. Szurman P, Petermeier K, Jaissle G, Spitzer M, Bartz Schmidt K. [Injector implantation of a scleral-fixated intraocular lens]. Ophthalmologe. 2006;103:1020-6 pubmed
    ..In this pilot study, a new injector technique for small-incision implantation of scleral-fixated intraocular lenses (IOLs) was evaluated for IOL stability and visual rehabilitation...
  21. Wang Q, Zhao G, Xing S, Zhang L, Yang X. Role of bone morphogenetic proteins in form-deprivation myopia sclera. Mol Vis. 2011;17:647-57 pubmed
    To clarify the role of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP-2,-4,-5) in sclera remodeling during myopia induction and their effect on sclera fibroblasts in cell culture.
  22. Jonas J, Jonas S. Histomorphometry of the circular peripapillary arterial ring of Zinn-Haller in normal eyes and eyes with secondary angle-closure glaucoma. Acta Ophthalmol. 2010;88:e317-22 pubmed publisher
    ..To examine the location and size of the peripapillary arterial circle of Zinn-Haller (PACZH) and its associations with other eye measures in normal eyes and eyes with secondary angle-closure glaucoma...
  23. McBrien N, Metlapally R, Jobling A, Gentle A. Expression of collagen-binding integrin receptors in the mammalian sclera and their regulation during the development of myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:4674-82 pubmed
    The sclera has a collagen-rich extracellular matrix that undergoes significant biochemical and biomechanical remodeling during myopic eye growth...
  24. Seko Y, Azuma N, Takahashi Y, Makino H, Morito T, Muneta T, et al. Human sclera maintains common characteristics with cartilage throughout evolution. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e3709 pubmed publisher
    The sclera maintains and protects the eye ball, which receives visual inputs...
  25. Inoue R, Hangai M, Kotera Y, Nakanishi H, Mori S, Morishita S, et al. Three-dimensional high-speed optical coherence tomography imaging of lamina cribrosa in glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2009;116:214-22 pubmed publisher
  26. Toteberg Harms M, Bredehorn Mayr T. Preparation and use of human sclera grafts in ophthalmic surgery. Dev Ophthalmol. 2009;43:105-8 pubmed publisher
    Human sclera grafts are widely used in ophthalmic surgery. Mainly they are used for coating orbital implants after enucleation.
  27. Aptel F, Olivier N, Deniset Besseau A, Legeais J, Plamann K, Schanne Klein M, et al. Multimodal nonlinear imaging of the human cornea. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:2459-65 pubmed publisher
  28. De Feo F, Bagnis A, Bricola G, Scotto R, Traverso C. Efficacy and safety of a steel drainage device implanted under a scleral flap. Can J Ophthalmol. 2009;44:457-62 pubmed publisher
    ..To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a stainless steel miniature glaucoma drainage device (Ex-PRESS X200) implanted under a scleral flap for the surgical treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)...
  29. Qu J, Zhou X, Xie R, Zhang L, Hu D, Li H, et al. The presence of m1 to m5 receptors in human sclera: evidence of the sclera as a potential site of action for muscarinic receptor antagonists. Curr Eye Res. 2006;31:587-97 pubmed
    The aim of this study was to identify the presence of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in human sclera in order to determine whether the sclera is a potential site of action for mAChR antagonists.
  30. Myers K, Cone F, Quigley H, Gelman S, Pease M, Nguyen T. The in vitro inflation response of mouse sclera. Exp Eye Res. 2010;91:866-75 pubmed publisher
    ..of mouse eyes to elevations in intraocular pressure (IOP), comparing the inflation response exhibited by the sclera of younger and older C57BL/6 mice...
  31. Yang H, Downs J, Girkin C, Sakata L, Bellezza A, Thompson H, et al. 3-D histomorphometry of the normal and early glaucomatous monkey optic nerve head: lamina cribrosa and peripapillary scleral position and thickness. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007;48:4597-607 pubmed
    ..three-dimensionally the anterior and posterior surfaces of the lamina cribrosa, scleral flange, and peripapillary sclera, to determine the position and thickness of these structures within digital three-dimensional (3-D) ..
  32. Orlin A, Mills M, Ying G, Liu C. A comparison of hang-back with conventional recession surgery for exotropia. J AAPOS. 2007;11:597-600 pubmed
    ..Previous reports suggest that the hang-back technique for lateral rectus recession for exotropia results in poorer surgical success and may require a different surgical dosage...
  33. Kjeka O, Bohnstedt J, Meberg K, Seland J. Implantation of scleral-fixated posterior chamber intraocular lenses in adults. Acta Ophthalmol. 2008;86:537-42 pubmed publisher
    ..To report the results of transscleral fixation of posterior chamber intraocular lenses in adults...
  34. Shelton L, Rada J. Inhibition of human scleral fibroblast cell attachment to collagen type I by TGFBIp. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50:3542-52 pubmed publisher
    ..The sclera synthesizes and secretes TGFBIp, which may function to facilitate scleral ECM remodeling events associated with ..
  35. Yamanari M, Makita S, Lim Y, Yasuno Y. Full-range polarization-sensitive swept-source optical coherence tomography by simultaneous transversal and spectral modulation. Opt Express. 2010;18:13964-80 pubmed publisher
    ..4 microm in tissue. Full-range polarization-sensitive retinal images showed characteristic birefringence of fibrous tissues such as retinal nerve fiber, sclera, and lamina cribrosa.
  36. Ranta V, Mannermaa E, Lummepuro K, Subrizi A, Laukkanen A, Antopolsky M, et al. Barrier analysis of periocular drug delivery to the posterior segment. J Control Release. 2010;148:42-48 pubmed publisher
    ..Permeation of FITC-dextrans and oligonucleotides in the bovine sclera was assessed with and without Pluronic gel in the donor compartment...
  37. Eilaghi A, Flanagan J, Tertinegg I, Simmons C, Wayne Brodland G, Ross Ethier C. Biaxial mechanical testing of human sclera. J Biomech. 2010;43:1696-701 pubmed publisher
    ..of the optic nerve head (ONH), of interest in glaucoma, is strongly affected by the biomechanical properties of sclera. However, there is a paucity of information about the variation of scleral mechanical properties within eyes and ..
  38. Yang S, Ye J, Long Q. [Expressions of collagen , matrix metalloproteases-2, and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the posterior sclera of newborn guinea pigs with negative lens-defocused myopia]. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 2010;32:55-9 pubmed publisher
    To observe the expressions of the collagen , matrix metalloproteases-2 (MMP-2), and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) in the posterior sclera of newborn guinea pigs with negative lens-defocused myopia.
  39. Kagemann L, Wollstein G, Ishikawa H, Bilonick R, Brennen P, Folio L, et al. Identification and assessment of Schlemm's canal by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:4054-9 pubmed publisher
  40. Kashiwagi Y, Nishitsuka K, Namba H, Kamiryo M, Takamura H, Yamashita H. Cloning and characterization of cell strains derived from human corneal stroma and sclera. Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2010;54:74-80 pubmed publisher
    To establish human corneal stroma- and sclera-derived cells as models for studying diseases of the anterior segment of the eye.
  41. Yang Y, Li X, Yan N, Cai S, Liu X. Myopia: a collagen disease?. Med Hypotheses. 2009;73:485-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Recent research suggests that collagens in the sclera play an important role in the development of myopia...
  42. Weiyi C, Wang X, Wang C, Tao L, Li X, Zhang Q. An experimental study on collagen content and biomechanical properties of sclera after posterior sclera reinforcement. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2008;23 Suppl 1:S17-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Posterior scleral reinforcement (PSR) was considered as an effective way for treating pathological myopia. Yet it is not well understood the possible role of collagen on the sclera reinforcement mechanisms in the PSR surgery.
  43. Usui T, Tomidokoro A, Mishima K, Mataki N, Mayama C, Honda N, et al. Identification of Schlemm's canal and its surrounding tissues by anterior segment fourier domain optical coherence tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52:6934-9 pubmed publisher
  44. Clark S, Keenan T, Fielder H, Collinson L, Holley R, Merry C, et al. Mapping the differential distribution of glycosaminoglycans in the adult human retina, choroid, and sclera. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52:6511-21 pubmed publisher the distribution of different classes of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the healthy human retina, choroid, and sclera. METHODS. Frozen tissue sections were made from adult human donor eyes...
  45. Barathi V, Beuerman R. Molecular mechanisms of muscarinic receptors in mouse scleral fibroblasts: Prior to and after induction of experimental myopia with atropine treatment. Mol Vis. 2011;17:680-92 pubmed
    ..To investigate the effect of atropine on the development of spectacle lens induced myopia in the mouse and to determine if the level of mRNAs for the muscarinic receptor subtypes (M(1) - M(5)) is affected by atropine treatment...
  46. Fu C, Sretavan D. Laser-induced ocular hypertension in albino CD-1 mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:980-90 pubmed publisher
    ..To establish a laser-induced model of ocular hypertension (LIOH) in albino CD-1 mice and to characterize the sequence of pathologic events triggered by intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation...
  47. Ren R, Wang N, Li B, Li L, Gao F, Xu X, et al. Lamina cribrosa and peripapillary sclera histomorphometry in normal and advanced glaucomatous Chinese eyes with various axial length. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50:2175-84 pubmed publisher
    ..To measure laminar and peripapillary scleral architecture in normal and glaucomatous Chinese eyes with normal and those with elongated axial length...
  48. McBrien N, Jobling A, Gentle A. Biomechanics of the sclera in myopia: extracellular and cellular factors. Optom Vis Sci. 2009;86:E23-30 pubmed publisher
    ..The increase in eye size results from active remodelling of the sclera, producing a weakened scleral matrix...
  49. Lu F, Zhou X, Xie R, Wu Y, Hu Y, Zhang L, et al. Feasibility of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis used for proteomic analysis of human scleral fibroblasts. Curr Eye Res. 2007;32:319-29 pubmed
    ..profiles for normal human scleral fibroblasts in order to provide a baseline for future study of proteomics of the sclera in experimental conditions...
  50. Maris P, Ishida K, Netland P. Comparison of trabeculectomy with Ex-PRESS miniature glaucoma device implanted under scleral flap. J Glaucoma. 2007;16:14-9 pubmed
    ..To evaluate the Ex-PRESS miniature implant (Model R 50) placed under partial-thickness scleral flap compared with standard trabeculectomy...
  51. Cheruvu N, Kompella U. Bovine and porcine transscleral solute transport: influence of lipophilicity and the Choroid-Bruch's layer. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:4513-22 pubmed
    ..To determine the influence of the choroid-Bruch's layer and solute lipophilicity on in vitro transscleral drug permeability in bovine and porcine eyes...