Optical Coherence Elastography of the Cornea The fundamental physical properties of the outer tunic of the eye determine the structural characteristics of the ocular globe and may be altered in several devastating disease states including axial elongation in myopia, pathological deformation in keratoconus, and iatrogenic keratoectasia following corneal refractive surgery. These biomechanical tissue characteristics not only influence our clinical interpretation of diagnostic tests, e.g. measurement of intraocular pressure, but have been implicated as important factors in the development of glaucoma. Currently, there is no available reliable method to perform measurement of corneal elasticity in vivo. Here we will develop novel method for the assessment of corneal elastic properties that could potentially be used for routine clinical diagnostic and treatment. This method will take advantages of highly localized air pressure stimulation and ultra-sensitive detection and analysis of the pressure waves propagation on corneal posterior and anterior surfaces with Optical Coherence Tomography to reconstruct volumetric biomechanical properties of the cornea. Our long-term objectives are to use the coordinated talents of this research team to produce novel elasticity imaging instrumentation/methods that can extend our current understanding of the basic principles of tissue biomechanics and apply this knowledge to clinically relevant problems in ocular disease.

Public Health Relevance

This proposal will focus on the development of novel technology and methods for noninvasive assessment of biomechanical properties of the cornea. Development of such a technique would significantly advance our understanding of the corneal disorders, allow developing novel clinical therapies and interventions, and improve outcome of current surgical interventions including corneal refractive surgery.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Biomedical Imaging Technology Study Section (BMIT)
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Mckie, George Ann
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University of Houston
Engineering (All Types)
Biomed Engr/Col Engr/Engr Sta
United States
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