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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh


October/2020: New paper accepted!

  • "Instant polarized light microscopy for imaging collagen microarchitecture and dynamics" by Journal of Biophotonics. [Publisher link Wiley]

October/2020: New paper accepted!

  • "So-called lamina cribrosa defects may mitigate IOP-induced neural tissue insult" by Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. [Read for free in IOVS]

October/2020: eCover of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

  • "Lamina cribrosa capillaries straighten as intraocular pressure increases" [Read for free in IOVS]

September/2020: New paper accepted!

  • "Lamina cribrosa capillaries straighten as intraocular pressure increases" by Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. [Read for free in IOVS]

September/2020: Three virtual presentations

  • Carnegie Mellon Forum on Biomedical Engineering (held virtually).

  • Po-Yi Lee presented "Real-time imaging of the stretch-induced changes in the optic nerve head collagen architecture".

  • Susannah Waxman presented "Lamina cribrosa capillaries straighten as intraocular pressure increases".

  • Grace Ingram presented "High-speed structured polarized light imaging of tissue dynamics". In collaboration with the Yang lab at Duquesne University..

September/2020: New grant awarded!

  • National Science Foundation, PI: Piervincenzo Rizzo.

  • Collaboration with Ian Conner, Samuel Dickerson and Robert Handzel.

  • "Managing glaucoma in the digital age: A new tonometer to connect patients to their caregivers".

  • PittWire News release.

August/2020: New paper accepted!

  • "Role of radially aligned scleral collagen fibers in optic nerve head biomechanics" by Experimental eye research. [Publisher link Elsevier]

Active projects
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Why biomechanics of the eye?

In our daily lives we rarely think of the eye as a biomechanical structure. The eye, however, is a remarkably complex structure with biomechanics involved in many of its functions. For our eyes to be able to track moving objects, for example, requires a delicate balance of the forces exerted by several muscles. Forces are also responsible for deforming the lens and allow focusing. A slight imbalance between the forces and tissue properties may be enough to alter or even preclude vision. These effects may take place quickly or over long periods, even years. Understanding ocular biomechanics is therefore important for preventing and treating vision loss.


Eye diagram

Schematic cross-section through a human eye. Light enters the eye through the cornea, passes through the pupil, lens and vitreous humour and strikes the retina, where it is absorbed. Retinal nerve fibers transmit visual information to the brain. These fibers converge at the optic nerve head region, exit the eye through the scleral canal, and form the optic nerve. The lamina cribrosa is a porous structure spanning the scleral canal. The vitreous chamber is filled with the vitreous humor, which exerts a pressure, the intraocular pressure, on the surface of the retina. [Sigal et al. Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 8(2):85-98, Apr 2009] (adapted from an illustration from NIH)



The objective of the Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics is to study the eye as a biomechanical structure. More specifically our work is aimed at identifying the causes of glaucoma, with the ultimate intention of finding a way to prevent vision loss.