Numerical model of the human cornea based on stromal microstructure: identification of mechanical properties for two age groups

Studer, H; Riedwyl, H; Büchler, P (2010). Numerical model of the human cornea based on stromal microstructure: identification of mechanical properties for two age groups. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering.

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The optical quality of the human eye mainly depends on the refractive performance of the cornea. The shape of the cornea is a mechanical balance between intraocular pressure and tissue intrinsic stiffness. Several surgical procedures in ophthalmology alter the biomechanics of the cornea to provoke local or global curvature changes for vision correction. Legitimated by the large number of surgical interventions performed every day, the demand for a deeper understanding of corneal biomechanics is rising to improve the safety of procedures and medical devices. The aim of our work is to propose a numerical model of corneal biomechanics, based on the stromal microstructure. Our novel anisotropic constitutive material law features a probabilistic weighting approach to model collagen fiber distribution as observed on human cornea by Xray scattering analysis (Aghamohammadzadeh et. al., Structure, February 2004). Furthermore, collagen cross-linking was explicitly included in the strain energy function. Results showed that the proposed model is able to successfully reproduce both inflation and extensiometry experimental data (Elsheikh et. al., Curr Eye Res, 2007; Elsheikh et. al., Exp Eye Res, May 2008). In addition, the mechanical properties calculated for patients of different age groups (Group A: 65-79 years; Group B: 80-95 years) demonstrate an increased collagen cross-linking, and a decrease in collagen fiber elasticity from younger to older specimen. These findings correspond to what is known about maturing fibrous biological tissue. Since the presented model can handle different loading situations and includes the anisotropic distribution of collagen fibers, it has the potential to simulate clinical procedures involving nonsymmetrical tissue interventions. In the future, such mechanical model can be used to improve surgical planning and the design of next generation ophthalmic devices.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Studer, Harald and Büchler, Philippe




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:08

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2014 16:16

URI: (FactScience: 199839)

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