Viscoelastic Biomechanical Properties of the Conventional Aqueous Outflow Pathway Tissues in Healthy and Glaucoma Human Eyes

Academic Article


  • Background: Although the tissues comprising the ocular conventional outflow pathway have shown strong viscoelastic mechanical response to aqueous humor pressure dynamics, the viscoelastic mechanical properties of the trabecular meshwork (TM), juxtacanalicular connective tissue (JCT), and Schlemm’s canal (SC) inner wall are largely unknown. Methods: A quadrant of the anterior segment from two human donor eyes at low- and high-flow (LF and HF) outflow regions was pressurized and imaged using optical coherence tomography (OCT). A finite element (FE) model of the TM, the adjacent JCT, and the SC inner wall was constructed and viscoelastic beam elements were distributed in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the TM and JCT to represent anisotropic collagen. An inverse FE-optimization algorithm was used to calculate the viscoelastic properties of the ECM/beam elements such that the TM/JCT/SC model and OCT imaging data best matched over time. Results: The ECM of the glaucoma tissues showed significantly larger time-dependent shear moduli compared to the heathy tissues. Significantly larger shear moduli were also observed in the LF regions of both the healthy and glaucoma eyes compared to the HF regions. Conclusions: The outflow tissues in both glaucoma eyes and HF regions are stiffer and less able to respond to dynamic IOP.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Karimi A; Razaghi R; Padilla S; Rahmati SM; Downs JC; Acott TS; Kelley MJ; Wang RK; Johnstone M
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 20