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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

In-vivo/Ex-vivo Ocular biomechanics and microstructure

High-resolution collagen architecture 3D imaging and analysis
of lamina cribrosa architechure
Effects of aging

We have developed techniques to measure in high resolution (~µm) the density and orientation of collagen fibers in soft tissues.

In collaboration with Dr. Donald Brown from the University of California (Irvine), we have developed techniques for using second harmonic generated images to measure the microarchitecture of the lamina cribrosa and the effects of intraocular pressure.

Age is one of the main risk factors for many diseases. We work to understand how aging affects the eye.

Lamina cribrosa microstructure Outflow Whole globe imaging

In collaboration with the Glaucoma Imaging Group at the University of Pittsburgh, we are developing experimental and computational tools for in-vivo imaging and analysis of structures in the posterior pole of the eye, including the lamina cribrosa.

In collaboration with Dr. L. Kagemann and the Glaucoma Imaging Group at the University of Pittsburgh we work on 3D visualization of aqueous humor outflow structures obtained in-situ using optical coherence tomography.

In collaboration with Dr. Kevin C. Chang at the University of Pittsburgh we are developing methods for high resolution imaging of the eye, including both the function and structure of the tissues


Modeling and Analysis

Patient-specific modeling Population-based modeling Glaucoma as a remodeling process

To improve patient-specific prediction of sensitivity to intraocular pressure we developed the first eye-specific finite element models of the human optic nerve head.

To understand the relationship between an individual and the population in susceptibility to disease we have developed comprehensive parametric numerical models to study optic nerve head biomechanics

We work to understand the complex process of tissue remodeling associated with the development and progression of glaucoma.

Software Statistical shape analysis Morphing

Ocular biomechanics are complex. We have developed an applet with which it is simple to make rapid estimates of the effects of intraocular pressure on an optic nerve head. This applet is available for use on our website

In collaboration with Dr. Paul Sanfilippo, from Melbourne Australia, we are implementing modern geometric morphometric techniques to study the optic disc and lamina cribrosa. These enable identifying aspects of shape and biomechanics without having defined them apriori.

We have developed morphing techniques to create and parameterize numerical models to best understand individual and population susceptibility to disease. We have applied these in orthopaedic and ocular biomechanics.


Financial Support

  • Eye and Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh, PA

  • National Institutes of Health grant R01EY025011 (PIs: Wollstein and Sigal)

  • National Institutes of Health grant P30EY008098 (PI: Hendricks)

  • National Institutes of Health grant R01EY023966 (PI: Sigal)

  • National Institutes of Health grant R01EY013178 (PI: Schuman)

  • National Institutes of Health grant 5T32EY017271 (PI: Hendricks)

  • Stimulating Pittsburgh Research in Geroscience (SPIRG) Program 2016 (PIs: Chan and Sigal)

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PI: Flanagan and Sivak)

  • Glaucoma Research Foundation Shaffer Grant (PI: Smith)