Tear fluid biomarkers in ocular and systemic disease: potential use for predictive, preventive and personalised medicine

Suzanne Hagan, Eilidh Martin, Amalia Enriquez-de-Salamanca

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

41 Downloads (Pure)


In the field of predictive, preventive and personalised medicine, researchers are keen to identify novel and reliable ways to predict and diagnose disease, as well as to monitor patient response to therapeutic agents. In the last decade alone, the sensitivity of profiling technologies has undergone huge improvements in detection sensitivity, thus allowing quantification of minute samples, for example body fluids that were previously difficult to assay. As a consequence, there has been a huge increase in tear fluid investigation, predominantly in the field of ocular surface disease. As tears are a more accessible and less complex body fluid (than serum or plasma) and sampling is much less invasive, research is starting to focus on how disease processes affect the proteomic, lipidomic and metabolomic composition of the tear film. By determining compositional changes to tear profiles, crucial pathways in disease progression may be identified, allowing for more predictive and personalised therapy of the individual.

This article will provide an overview of the various putative tear fluid biomarkers that have been identified to date, ranging from ocular surface disease and retinopathies to cancer and multiple sclerosis. Putative tear fluid biomarkers of ocular disorders, as well as the more recent field of systemic disease biomarkers, will be shown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalEPMA Journal
Early online date13 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016



  • biomarkers
  • tear fluid
  • proteome
  • Metabolome
  • PPPM
  • dry eye
  • glaucoma
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • cancer
  • neurological disorders

Cite this