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Perilimbal sclera mechanical properties: Impact on intraocular pressure in porcine eyes.

By Xiaofei Man, Elizabeth Arroyo, Martha Dunbar, David M Reed, Neil Shah, Larry Kagemann, Wonsuk Kim, Sayoko E Moroi and Alan Argento


There is extensive knowledge on the relationship of posterior scleral biomechanics and intraocular pressure (IOP) load on glaucomatous optic neuropathy; however, the role for biomechanical influence of the perilimbal scleral tissue on the aqueous humor drainage pathway, including the distal venous outflow system, and IOP regulation is not fully understood. The purpose of this work is to study the outflow characteristics of perfused porcine eyes relative to the biomechanical properties of the perilimbal sclera, the posterior sclera and the cornea. Enucleated porcine eyes from eleven different animals were perfused with surrogate aqueous at two fixed flow rates while monitoring their IOP. After perfusion, mechanical stress-strain and relaxation tests were conducted on specimens of perilimbal sclera, posterior sclera, and cornea from the same perfused eyes. Statistical analysis of the data demonstrated a strong correlation between increased tangent modulus of the perilimbal sclera tissues and increased perfusion IOP (R2 = 0.74, p = 0.0006 at lower flow rate and R2 = 0.71, p = 0.0011 at higher flow rate). In contrast, there were no significant correlations between IOP and the tangent modulus of the other tissues (Posterior sclera: R2 = 0.17 at lower flow rate and R2 = 0.30 at higher flow rate; cornea: R2 = 0.02 at lower flow rate and R2<0.01 at higher flow rate) nor the viscoelastic properties of any tissue (R2 ≤ 0.08 in all cases). Additionally, the correlation occurred for IOP and not net outflow facility (R2 ≤ 0.12 in all cases). These results provide new evidence that IOP in perfused porcine eyes is strongly influenced by the tangent modulus, sometimes called the tissue stiffness, of the most anterior portion of the sclera, i.e. the limbus

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195882
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