The formation and stability of emulsions in vitrectomized eyes is linked to the properties of the silicone oil-aqueous humor interface, in particular the surface tension. In the presence of natural surfactants, such as serum and plasma, the value of the surface tension is likely to change, but little quantitative information is presently available.
To this end, we perform accurate experiments measuring the interfacial
properties of the Siluron 1000 (Fluoron GmbH, Ulm, Germany) silicone oil with an aqueous solution in the presence of endogenous-like proteins. It is found that the surface tension is significantly reduced when physiologically realistic concentrations are used. Moreover, the values obtained for the dilational viscoelastic modulus are compatible with the formation of stable emulsions.