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Biophysics - Biotechnology - Ophthalmology - Physics

Optical Rheology of Porcine Sclera by Birefringence Imaging
Published: Thursday, September 06, 2012
Author: Masahiro Yamanari et al.

by Masahiro Yamanari, Kotaro Ishii, Shinichi Fukuda, Yiheng Lim, Lian Duan, Shuichi Makita, Masahiro Miura, Tetsuro Oshika, Yoshiaki Yasuno


To investigate a relationship between birefringence and elasticity of porcine sclera ex vivo using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT).


Elastic parameters and birefringence of 19 porcine eyes were measured. Four pieces of scleral strips which were parallel to the limbus, with a width of 4 mm, were dissected from the optic nerve head to the temporal side of each porcine eye. Birefringence of the sclera was measured with a prototype PS-OCT. The strain and force were measured with a uniaxial material tester as the sample was stretched with a speed of 1.8 mm/min after preconditioning. A derivative of the exponentially-fitted stress-strain curve at 0% strain was extracted as the tangent modulus. Power of exponential stress-strain function was also extracted from the fitting. To consider a net stiffness of sclera, structural stiffness was calculated as a product of tangent modulus and thickness. Correlations between birefringence and these elastic parameters were examined.


Statistically significant correlations between birefringence and all of the elastic parameters were found at 2 central positions. Structural stiffness and power of exponential stress-strain function were correlated with birefringence at the position near the optic nerve head. No correlation was found at the position near the equator.


The evidence of correlations between birefringence and elasticity of sclera tested uniaxially was shown for the first time. This work may become a basis for in vivo measurement of scleral biomechanics using PS-OCT.