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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

Latest News

November/2018: Special lecture by Ian Sigal

  • Lions eye institute, University of Western Australia, Perth Australia.

November/2018: Invited talk by Ian Sigal

  • Optics within life science meeting, Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

November/2018: Podium and poster presentations

  • Biomaterials Day 2018, University of Pittsburgh. Talk by Bingrui Wang, Poster by Tian Foong.

October/2018: Podium presentation by Ian Sigal

  • Department of mechanical science and bioengineering, Osaka University, Japan.

October/2018: Special lecture by Ian Sigal

  • Biofrontier symposium, Chiba university, Japan.

October/2018: Poster presentation by Tian Foong

  • Science 2018, University of Pittsburgh.

October/2018: Poster presentation by Bingrui Wang

  • BMES meeting, Atlanta.

October/2018: eCover of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science [Read in IOVS, PDF]

  • "Radial and circumferential collagen fibers are a feature of the peripapillary sclera of human, monkey, pig, cow, goat and sheep"

September/2018: Congratulations PoYi Lee!

  • His poster "Snapshot polarized light microscopy for quantifying collagen fiber orientation in ocular tissue" with Bin Yang was awarded first place at the Carnegie Mellon Forum on Biomedical Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA, September 21, 2018.

September/2018: New paper accepted

  • "Structured polarized light microscopy for collagen fiber structure and orientation quantification in thick ocular tissues" by Journal of Biomedical Optics.

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.