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Use of Brillouin spectroscopy in ophthalmology enables noninvasive, spatially resolved determination of the rheological properties of crystalline lens tissue. Furthermore, the Brillouin shift correlates with the protein concentration inside the lens. In vitro measurements on extracted porcine lenses demonstrate that results obtained with Brillouin spectroscopy depend strongly on time after death. The intensity of the Brillouin signal decreases significantly as early as 5 h postmortem. Moreover, the fluctuation of the Brillouin frequency shift inside the lens increases with postmortem time. Images of lens tissue taken with a confocal reflectance microscope between measurements reveal a degenerative aging process. These tissue changes correlate with our results from Brillouin spectroscopy. It is concluded that only in vivo measurements appropriately reflect the rheological properties of the eye lens and its protein concentration.