Small rodent models have become increasingly useful to investigate how the mechanical properties of soft tissues may influence disease development. These animal models allow access to aged, diseased, or genetically-altered tissue samples, and through comparisons with wild-type or normal tissue it can be explored how each of these variables influence tissue function. The challenges to deriving meaningful material parameters for these small tissue samples include designing physiologically-relevant mechanical testing protocols and interpreting the experimental load-displacement data in an appropriate constitutive framework to quantify material parameters. This study was motivated by determining the possible role of scleral material properties in the development of glaucomatous damage to the retinal ganglion cells (RGC). Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and in the world with an estimate of 60 million people affected by this year [1]. Through exploring mouse models, the overall goal of our work is to determine the role of scleral material properties and scleral tissue microstructure in the pathogenesis of glaucoma.

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