Depth-resolved full-field measurement of corneal deformation by optical coherence tomography and digital volume correlation

The study of vertebrate eye cornea is an interdisciplinary subject and the research on its mechanical properties has significant importance in ophthalmology. The measurement of depth-resolved 3D full-field deformation behaviour of cornea under changing intraocular pressure is a useful method to study the local corneal mechanical properties. In this work, optical coherence tomography was adopted to reconstruct the internal structure of a porcine cornea inflated from 15 to 18.75 mmHg (close to the physical porcine intraocular pressure) in the form of 3D image sequences. An effective method has been developed to correct the commonly seen refraction induced distortions in the optical coherence tomography reconstructions, based on Fermat’s principle. The 3D deformation field was then determined by performing digital volume correlation on these corrected 3D reconstructions. A simple finite element model of the inflation test was developed and the predicted values were compared against digital volume correlation results, showing good overall agreement.