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Biomechanical model of the human cornea: Considering shear stiffness and regional variation of collagen anisotropy and density

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2014.11.006 DOI Help

Authors: Charles Whitford (University of Liverpool) , Harald Studer (Integrated Scientific Services, Switzerland) , Craig Boote (University of Cardiff) , Keith Meek (Cardiff University) , Ahmed Elsheikh (University of Liverpool)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of The Mechanical Behavior Of Biomedical Materials , VOL 42 , PAGES 76 - 87

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 919

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: A numerical model based on continuum mechanics theory has been developed which represents the 3D anisotropic behaviour of the corneal stroma. Experimental data has been gathered from a number of previous studies to provide the basis and calibration parameters for the numerical modelling. The resulting model introduces numerical representation of collagen fibril density and its related regional variation, interlamellar cohesion and age-related stiffening in an anisotropic model of the human cornea. Further, the model incorporates previous modelling developments including representation of lamellae anisotropy and stiffness of the underlying matrix. Wide angle X-ray scattering has provided measured data which quantifies relative fibril anisotropy in the 2D domain. Accurate numerical description of material response to deformation is essential to providing representative simulations of corneal behaviour. Representing experimentally obtained 2D anisotropy and regional density variation in the 3D domain is an essential component of this accuracy. The constitutive model was incorporated into finite element analysis. Combining with inverse analysis, the model was calibrated to an extensive experimental database of ex vivo corneal inflation tests and ex vivo corneal shear tests. This model represents stiffness of the underlying matrix which is 2–3 orders of magnitude than the mechanical response representing the collagen fibrils in the lamellae. The presented model, along with its age dependent material coefficients, allows finite element modelling for an individual patient with material stiffness approximated based on their age. This has great potential to be used in both daily clinical practice for the planning and optimisation of corrective procedures and in pre-clinical optimisation of diagnostic procedures.

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials


Instruments: I02-Macromolecular Crystallography