Development of Eye


Development of eyeball starts at 22nd day of intrauterine life.

Derivatives of Surface ectoderm (Mnemonic: SLE):

  1. Skin of eyelids and its appendages (hair follicles, glands etc.)
  2. Lens and Lacrimal gland
  3. Epithelium of cornea and conjunctiva.

Derivatives of Optic cup (Mnemonic: ROMES):

  1. Retina
  2. Optic nerve (from Optic stalk)
  3. Muscles of iris: Sphincter & Dilator pupillae
  4. Epithelium of iris and ciliary body
  5. Secondary and tertiary vitreous*.

Derivatives of Neural crest:

  1. Cornea and sclera (except epithelium)
  2. Choroid
  3. Orbital bones
  4. Ciliary ganglion
  5. Trabecular meshwork
  6. Ciliary body muscles
  7. Stroma of iris and ciliary body.

Derivatives of Mesoderm:

  1. Extraocular Muscles (6)
  2. Primary vitreous*
  3. Temporal sclera.

*Types of vitreous:

  1. Hyaloid vessel is the primary vitreous of eye**
  2. Secondary vitreous is the vitreous humor in adult (volume: 4 ml)
  3. Tertiary vitreous is the zonules/ suspensory ligaments.


**Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV):

  • Hyaloid vessels does not degenerate
  • Associated with small eye (microphthalmia)
  • Associated with posterior polar cataract
  • Associated with retinal detachment
  • Associated with poor prognosis.


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