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Simultaneous microstructural and mechanical characterization of human corneas at increasing pressure

Abstract : Biomechanics Non-linear microscopy Collagen Microstructure Digital image correlation a b s t r a c t The cornea, through its shape, is the main contributor to the eye's focusing power. Pathological alterations of the cornea strongly affect the eye power. To improve treatments , complex biomechanical models have been developed based on the architecture and mechanical properties of the collagen network in the stroma, the main layer of the cornea. However, direct investigations of the structure of the stroma, as well as its link to the mechanical response, remained limited. We propose here an original set up, associating nonlinear optical imaging and mechanical testing. By using polarization resolved Second Harmonic signals, we simultaneously quantified micrometer (orientation of the collagen lamellae) and nanometer (local disorder within lamellae) scale corneal organization. We showed that the organization of the lamellae changes along the stroma thickness. Then, we measured simultaneously the deformation on the epithelial side of the cornea and the reorientation of the collagen lamellae for increasing intraocular pressure levels, from physiological ones to pathological ones. We showed that the observed deformation is not correlated to initial orientation, but to the reorganization of the lamellae in the stroma. Our results, by providing a direct multi-scale observation, will be useful for the development of more accurate biomechanical models.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 2:46:17 PM
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Aurélie Benoit, Gaël Latour, Marie-Claire Schanne-Klein, Jean-Marc Allain. Simultaneous microstructural and mechanical characterization of human corneas at increasing pressure. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, Elsevier, 2016, 60, pp.93 - 105. ⟨10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.12.031⟩. ⟨hal-01426802⟩

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