Bowman's membrane

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Bowman's membrane
Vertical section of human cornea from near the margin. (Waldeyer.) Magnified.
1. Epithelium.
2. Anterior elastic lamina.
3. substantia propria.
4. Posterior elastic lamina.
5. Endothelium of the anterior chamber.
a. Oblique fibers in the anterior layer of the substantia propria.
b. Lamellæ the fibers of which are cut across, producing a dotted appearance.
c. Corneal corpuscles appearing fusiform in section.
d. Lamellæ the fibers of which are cut longitudinally.
e. Transition to the sclera, with more distinct fibrillation, and surmounted by a thicker epithelium.
f. Small bloodvessels cut across near the margin of the cornea.
Latin l. limitans anterior corneae
Gray's subject #225 1008
MeSH Bowman+membrane
Dorlands/Elsevier l_02/12476272

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The Bowman's membrane (Bowman's layer, anterior limiting lamina, anterior elastic lamina) is a smooth layer in the eye. It is located between the front epithelium and the stroma in the cornea. It is composed of strong collagen fibers and helps the cornea maintain its shape. If the Bowman's membrane is damaged, scarring would normally occur.

In adult humans, this layer is 8-12 μm thick.[1]

Bowman's layer is absent in cats, dogs, and other carnivores.[2]

The Bowman's membrane is named after Sir William Bowman (1816 - 1892), an English physician, anatomist and ophthalmologist, who discovered this membrane.


  1. Hogan MJ, Alvarado JA, Weddell E: Histology of the Human Eye. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1971
  2. Merindano MD; Costa J; Canals M; Potau JM, and Ruano D. "A comparative study of Bowman's layer in some mammals: Relationships with other constituent corneal structures." European Journal of Anatomy. Volume 6, Number 3, December 2002.

See also

External links

id:Membrana Bowman it:Lamina di Bowman nl:Membraan van Bowman