Corneal viscoelastic properties from finite-element analysis of in vivo air-puff deformation

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Abstract

Biomechanical properties are an excellent health marker of biological tissues, however they are challenging to be measured in-vivo. Non-invasive approaches to assess tissue biomechanics have been suggested, but there is a clear need for more accurate techniques for diagnosis, surgical guidance and treatment evaluation. Recently air-puff systems have been developed to study the dynamic tissue response, nevertheless the experimental geometrical observations lack from an analysis that addresses specifically the inherent dynamic properties. In this study a viscoelastic finite element model was built that predicts the experimental corneal deformation response to an air-puff for different conditions. A sensitivity analysis reveals significant contributions to corneal deformation of intraocular pressure and corneal thickness, besides corneal biomechanical properties. The results show the capability of dynamic imaging to reveal inherent biomechanical properties in vivo. Estimates of corneal biomechanical parameters will contribute to the basic understanding of corneal structure, shape and integrity and increase the predictability of corneal surgery. © 2014 Kling et al.

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Kling, S., Bekesi, N., Dorronsoro, C., Pascual, D., & Marcos, S. (2014). Corneal viscoelastic properties from finite-element analysis of in vivo air-puff deformation. PLoS ONE, 9(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104904

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