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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

Latest News

Four podium presentations

  • BioE Intramural Internship: Morgan Austin, Emma Hudertmark, Nick Krall and Felipe Suntaxi.

Three poster presentations

  • Science 2016: Game Changers, Pittsburgh, PA, October 19-21, 2016.

Two poster presentations

  • BMES 2016 - Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN. Oct 5-8, 2016.

Podium presentation

  • XXII Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, Tokyo Japan. Sep 25-29, 2016.

Invited seminar

  • National University of Singapore, Singapore. Sep 21, 2016.

New paper accepted

  • "Identifying the Palisades of Vogt in Human Ex-vivo Tissue"
    by The Ocular Surface. In collaboration with Kira Lathrop.

New paper accepted

  • "Non-invasive MRI Assessments of Tissue Microstructures and Macromolecules in the Eye upon Biomechanical or Biochemical Modulation"
    by Scientific Reports. In collaboration with Kevin C. Chan.

New paper accepted

  • "Experimental glaucoma causes optic nerve head neural rim tissue compression: a potentially important mechanism of axon injury"
    by Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. In collaboration with Brad Fortune.

Active projects
Click images for more info.

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)

 

Goals

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.