Dendritic cells (DC) are a subtype of immune cells, which play a pivotal role in the maintenance of ocular surface health and homeostasis and reside in the human cornea and conjunctiva. Using in vivo confocal microscopy, it is possible to examine DC in real time.

Observation of DC can be used to investigate changes occurring during ocular surface disease and to monitor the efficacy of treatment. Evaluation of alterations in DC density and morphology in the context of ocular surface disease or treatment requires the use of repeated observations. Characterisation of variations in DC density and morphology over the course of a day, and day-to-day repeatability of measurements is thus essential to enable normal variations to be differentiated from changes that can be attributed to disease processes.

Our research showed no diurnal variation in DC density, morphology, or topographical distribution using in vivo confocal microscopy at the ocular surface in healthy individuals. Read more about this here: