Ocular tissue properties have been widely studied in tension and compression for humans and a variety of animals. However, direct shear testing of the tissues of the sclera appear to be absent from the literature even though modeling, analyses, and anatomical studies have indicated that shear may play a role in the etiology of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). In this work, the mechanical behavior of bovine scleral tissue in shear has been studied in both out-of-plane and in-plane modes of deformation. Stress–strain and relaxation tests were conducted on tissue specimens at controlled temperature and hydration focusing on trends related to specimen location and orientation. There was generally found to be no significant effect of specimen orientation and angular location in the globe on shear stiffness in both modes. The in-plane response, which is the primary load carrying mode, was found to be substantially stiffer than the out-of-plane mode. Also, within the in-plane studies, tissue further from the optic nerve was stiffer than the near tissue. The viscosity coefficient of the tissue varied insignificantly with distance from the optic nerve, but overall was much higher in-plane than out-of-plane.

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