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The human tear “connected” science with art

3minút, 16sekúnd

On the 15th of January 2019 in Kasárne/Kulturpark, Košice the exhibition called “Human tear as art” was opened to the public. The aim of the pilot scientific-artistic project is to expound the results of the researchers’ work of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University and the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice to the general public by means of images, which refer to an interesting diagnostical potential of the original view of the human tear fluid in case of various illnesses.

The exhibition consists of 27 images showing interesting structures and patterns, which are displayed patients’ tears and are being presented with the help of an atomic force microscope in nanometers. The organizer of the exhibition is Assoc. prof.  Vladimíra Tomčeková, PhD. from the Department of Medical and Clinical Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, who started observing the tear fluid with an atomic force microscope in 2015. Those observations were implemented with the help of Mgr. Vladimír Komanický, PhD. from the Institute of Physics of the Faculty of Science P.J. Šafárik University, who is also the founder of the nanolaboratory at which these researchers took place.

People can express different emotions with tears but scientists discovered that tears can reveal the presence of various diseases and considering their structure, every teardrop is unique.

The pair of researchers during the observation of the microscopic preparations with the naked eye or with using an appropriate software found very interesting structures in the patients´ tear fluids with various illnesses. The patients were chosen by the Ophthalmologist MUDr. Gabriela Glinská, who was also an external postgraduate student of Asssoc. prof. Tomečková and was dealing with the topic of her dissertation called “The diagnostical potential of tears in Ophthalmology. The results of their first experiments engaged the attention of their colleagues from Košice and the team of collaborators has gradually expanded.

Later RNDr. Oleg Shylenko and his studenst from the Institute of Physics, Faculty of Science P. J. Šafárik University, Assoc. prof. Natália Tomašovičová and Mgr. Katarína Zakuťanská from the Institute of Experimental Physics from the Slovak Academy of Sciences and also other members of the Department of Medical and Clinical Biochemistry from the Faculty of Medicine, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice started researching the tear fluid.

The researchers are currently collaborating not only with the Ophthalmologist Gabriela Glinska but also with other doctors from the fields of psychiatry and neurology who provide the tear fluid samples of patients. The samples are taken with a help of a glass micro-capillaries or Sugi sponges, but most often with a help of an irrigation method using physiological solution, which enables taking the highest content of tear fluids.

The researchers are observing patterns of tear fluids from various members of the project with the help of various microscopical methods – fluorescent spectrophotometry, atomic force microscope, infrared spectrophotometry, gel zymography and circular dichroism. They focused their observations on the tears of ill patients in which were formed different prints by the means of dendrites: shapes of hearts, branchlet, feather and grain blades which do not occur in tear fluids of healthy people.

According to the organizer of the exhibition, Assoc. Prof. Tomečková, the researchers were surprised by the aesthetical and original potential of the tear fluid images, which contributed to the printing of these captured structures in higher resolutions. This is how the idea of the exhibition of scientific images with the name “Human tear as art” was born, which helped to bring the gained knowledge into sight to the general public and to connect art with science to one unit.

After the exhibition the images will be hanged in the nanolaboratory of the Faculty of Science, P.J. Šafárik University, where the measures were originally taken.


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