Descemet's Membrane

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Descemet's Membrane is also known as

  • the Posterior limiting lamina,
  • the Posterior elastic lamina,
  • the Lamina elastica posterior, and
  • the Membrane of Demours.

These synonyms are mentioned for information but are not necessarily included as separate entries in this glossary. Where multiple entries are included the synonym text links to them.

Note that 3 of the 4 synonyms listed above include the term "posterior" - consistent with Descemet's Membrane being the deepest, rather than the most superficial, layer of the cornea.


Descemet's Membrane is the thin layer of tissue (called a "membrane") that forms the deepest layer of the stroma (i.e. the connective tissue) of the cornea of the eye.

Gray's Anatomy (1901) describes the Descemet's Membrane as consisting "... of an elastic, and perfectly transparent homogeneous membrane, of extreme thinness, which is not rendered opaque by either water, alcohol, or acids. It is very brittle, but its most remarkable property is its extreme elasticity, and the tendency which it presents to curl up, or roll upon itself, with the attached surface innermost, when seperated from the proper substance of the cornea".

Descemet's Membrane ranges in thickness between 3 µm (at birth) to 8-10 µm (in adults).

Descemet's Membrane is named after French Anatomist, Jean Descemet (1732 - 1810).

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye.
For other descriptions in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete / exhaustive list).

Other related sections include:

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

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