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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh


March/2020: Poster presentation

  • "Toward high-resolution three-dimensional reconstruction of optic nerve head vasculature via optical clearing" by Susannah Waxman

  • McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Retreat 2020

  • A collaboration with the Loewen lab from the University of Wurzburg in Germany

February/2020: Congratulations Fengting Ji!

  • Her podium presentation "Support at the edge: lamina cribrosa beam insertions in sheep, pig, monkey and human" was awarded first place at the Pitt BioE Day 2020, Pittsburgh, PA, Feb 27, 2020.

February/2020: Poster presentation

  • "Biaxial mechanical testing of interweaving and non-interweaving fibers" by Anish Puligilla

  • Pitt BioE Day 2020, Pittsburgh, PA,Feb 27, 2020.

February/2020: Invited lecture by Yi (Jason) Hua

  • "Biomechanics of the central nervous system"

  • Department of Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, Feb 20, 2020.

February/2020: Welcome Manik Bansal

  • As a Post-doctoral fellow to work on soft tissue micromechanics.

February/2020: Welcome Fuqiang Zhong

  • As a Health research scholar to work on in-vivo optic nerve head biomechanics.

February/2020: Podium presentation

  • 9th International Bio-Fluid Mechanics and Vascular Mechano-Biology Symposium, Tucson, AZ, Feb 13-16, 2020.

  • "Individual-Specific Modeling Of Hemodynamics In The Posterior Pole Of The Eye" by Yi (Jason) Hua

February/2020: Two podium presentations

  • SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, California, Feb 1-6, 2020.

  • "Multi-scale elastography: imaging the collagen fibers and their interactions during mechanical testing" by Ian Sigal

  • "Instant polarized light microscopy for real-time wide-field visualization of collagen architecture" by Po-Yi Lee

January/2020: Lab featured by PittMed

January/2020: New paper accepted

  • "Connective tissue remodeling in myopia and its potential role in increasing risk of glaucoma" by Current opinion in biomedical engineering.

  • In collaboration with Rafael Grytz and Brian Samuels from the University of Alabama Birmingham, and Hongli Yang from the Devers eye institute in Portland.

January/2020: Welcome Susannah Waxman

  • As a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary biomedical sciences program.

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.