Intraocular pressure (IOP) induced strains in the peripapillary sclera may play a role in glaucoma progression. Using inflation testing and ultrasound speckle tracking, the 3D strains in the peripapillary sclera were measured in nine human donor globes. Our results showed that the peripapillary sclera experienced through-thickness compression and meridional stretch during inflation, while minimal circumferential dilation was observed when IOP was increased from 10 to 19 mmHg. The maximum shear was primarily oriented in the through-thickness, meridional cross sections and had a magnitude slightly larger than the first principal strain. The tissue volume had minimal overall change, confirming near-incompressibility of the sclera. Substantial strain heterogeneity was present in the peripapillary region, with local high strain areas likely corresponding to structural heterogeneity caused by traversing blood vessels. These 3D strain characteristics provide new insights into the biomechanical responses of the peripapillary sclera during physiological increases of IOP. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and investigate the role of these biomechanical characteristics in ocular diseases.
Three-Dimensional Strains in Human Posterior Sclera Using Ultrasound Speckle Tracking
Manuscript received August 12, 2015; final manuscript received November 13, 2015; published online January 27, 2016. Editor: Victor H. Barocas.
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Pavlatos, E., Perez, B. C., Morris, H. J., Chen, H., Palko, J. R., Pan, X., Weber, P. A., Hart, R. T., and Liu, J. (January 27, 2016). "Three-Dimensional Strains in Human Posterior Sclera Using Ultrasound Speckle Tracking." ASME. J Biomech Eng. February 2016; 138(2): 021015. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4032124
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