The role of light in measuring ocular biomechanics

2016-02-08T12:13:39Z (GMT) by Abby Wilson J. Marshall John Tyrer
The cornea is a highly specialised tissue with a unique set of biomechanical properties determined by its complex structure. The maintenance of these mechanical properties is fundamental to maintain clear vision as the cornea provides the majority of the focussing power of the eye. Changes to the biomechanics of the cornea can occur during ageing, disease, and trauma, or as a result of surgery. Recently there has been increased interest in the mechanical properties of the cornea as knowledge of these properties has significant implications for the improvement of current ocular treatments including PRK and LASIK, and for the diagnosis and tracking of corneal diseases and therapy such as keratoconus and crosslinking. Biomechanics are also important for the development of artificial corneal replacements. This paper describes the use of a novel, non-destructive lateral electronic speckle pattern shearing interferometer (ESPSI). The data generated via this technique give a full-field view of the mechanical response of the cornea under simulated physiological loading conditions, and enables strain and displacement to be determined in three planes. The technique allows corneal stiffness to be quantified and enables changes and non-homogeneities that occur due to surgery or disease to be detected.Eye advance online publication, 15 January 2016; doi:10.1038/eye.2015.263.