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An interferometric ex vivo study of corneal biomechanics under physiologically representative loading, highlighting the role of the limbus in pressure compensation

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journal contribution
posted on 28.09.2020, 15:28 authored by Abby Wilson, John Jones, John TyrerJohn Tyrer, John Marshall
Background: The mechanical properties of the cornea are complex and regionally variable. This paper uses an original method to investigate the biomechanics of the cornea in response to hydrostatic loading over the typical physiological range of intra-ocular pressure (IOP) fluctuations thereby increasing understanding of clinically relevant corneal biomechanical properties and their contributions to the refractive properties of the cornea. Methods: Displacement speckle pattern interferometry (DSPI) was used to measure the total surface displacement of 40 porcine and 6 human corneal-scleral specimens in response to pressure variations up to 1 mmHg from a baseline of 16.5 mmHg. All specimens were mounted in a modified artificial anterior chamber (AAC) and loaded hydrostatically. Areas of high strain in response to loading were identified by comparing the displacements across different regions. Results: The nature of the response of the corneal surface to loading demonstrated high regional topographic variation. Mechanical properties were shown to be asymmetrical, and deformation of the limbal and pre-limbal regions dominated these responses respectively with over 90% (N-T) and 60% (S-I) of the total maximum displacement occurring in these regions indicating high-strain. In contrast, the curvature of the central cornea remained relatively unchanged merely translating in position. Conclusions: The limbal and pre-limbal regions of the cornea appear to be fundamental to the absorption of small pressure fluctuations facilitating the curvature of the central cornea to remain relatively unchanged. The differential mechanical properties of this region could have important implications for the application of corneal surgery and corneal crosslinking, warranting further investigation.

Funding

During the course of this study, Dr. Abby Wilson was enrolled on a PhD, and was funded by EPSRC and Fight for Sight.

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Eye and Vision

Volume

7

Pages

43

Publisher

BioMed Central Ltd part of Springer Nature

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Acceptance date

25/07/2020

Publication date

2020-08-13

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2326-0254

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Abby Wilson. Deposit date: 28 September 2020

Article number

43