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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

Latest News

Postdoc, Graduate student, and Research assistant positions available (Details)

September/2021: Welcome back Bingrui Wang, PhD

  • Joined our lab as post-doctoral fellow.

July/2021: Virtual poster presentation

  • Urjeet Deshmukh presented a virtual poster on "Virtual reality (VR) visualization of ocular hemodynamics models" as part of TECBio 2021.

July/2021: Good luck John Gnalian!

  • John has been accepted to medical school. It is difficult to believe that all the remarkable work that John did was in less than one year as a research assistant.

July/2021: Welcome Mohammad Retaful Islam, PhD

  • Joined our lab as a post-doctoral fellow.

June/2021: Stein Innovation Award to Dr. Sigal!

  • This prestigious award is given by Research to prevent blindness.

June/2021: Congratulations Susannah Waxman!

  • She passed her Comprehensive exam with flying colors. She is in the Cellular and molecular pathology program.

June/2021: Congratulations Po-Yi Lee!

  • For winning the 1st place in the PhD-level student paper competition at SB3C with the talk "Integrating capillary flow modeling and geometric quantification into reconstructed 3D capillary networks of the optic nerve head".

June/2021: Fantastic SB3C 2021 conference (June 14 - 18 virtual)

  • Four talks and two posters from our lab presented at SB3C (Summer biomechanics, bioengineering and biotransport conference).

May/2021: Welcome Urjeet Deshmukh!

  • He will do research with us this summer as part of the 2021 TECBio REU program. His project is titled "Virtual reality visualization of ocular hemodynamics models".

May/2021: Congratulations Susannah Waxman!

  • 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 virtual)

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

Examples of our work
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.