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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh


May/2021: Congratulations Susannah Waxman! (again)

  • For winning a Poster of Distinction Award in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology research symposium. Poster: "3D reconstruction of collagen and vasculature in the lamina cribrosa reveals distinct networks."

May/2021: Fantastic participation of our lab in ARVO 2021 (May 1 - 7)

  • Our lab participated with three four podium and two one poster presentations (virtually).

April/2021: Congratulations Susannah Waxman!

  • For the top seminar presentation of the semester in the Cellular and Molecular Pathology program.

April/2021: Congratulations Jason Hua!

  • He has been awarded a Brightfocus Foundation post-doctoral fellowship to study the hemodynamics and biomechanics of the monkey lamina cribrosa.

March/2021: Congratulations Po-Yi Lee!

  • His abstract to SB3C was selected as a finalist of the PhD-level competition.

March/2021: Fengting wins ARVO Travel award!

  • She will present at the 2021 ARVO virtual meeting her work on "Mechanical properties of scleral collagen fibers obtained using a new fiber-based specimen-specific model of sclera microstructure".

March/2021: Jason wins ARVO Travel award!

  • He will present at the 2021 ARVO virtual meeting his work on "3D eye-specific analysis of factors influencing lamina cribrosa oxygen concentration".

March/2021: Fuqiang wins ARVO Travel award!

  • He will present at the 2021 ARVO virtual meeting his work on "In-vivo evidence of increased lamina cribrosa compliance at onset of experimental glaucoma in nonhuman primates". This is a collaboration with Brad Fortune and his group at the Devers Eye Institute.

February/2021: Cover of Journal of Biophotonics

  • "Instant polarized light microscopy for imaging collagen microarchitecture and dynamics" [Publisher link Wiley]

January/2021: Welcome Marissa Quinn!

  • Joined our laboratory as a research assistant

December/2020: Welcome John Gnalian!

  • Joined our laboratory as a research assistant

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)



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.