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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

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Postdoc, Graduate student, and Research assistant positions available (Details)

  • December/2022: eCover of Translational Vision Science and Technology!

    • "Comparing acute IOP-induced lamina cribrosa deformations pre-mortem and post-mortem" by Translational Vision Science and Technology [Link].

  • November/2022: Susannah's image featured in ISER newsletter!

    • Coronal vibratome section through the goat lamina cribrosa labeled with Multicolor DiOlistics (MuDi). MuDi delivers microcarriers coated in all combinations of three spectrally distinct cell membrane dyes (DiD: red, DiO: green, DiI: blue) stochastically into individual cells across the tissue. Morphologies of individual cells are revealed and can be distinguished from their neighbors. DAPI-labeled cell nuclei and tissue autofluorescence are shown in gray. Volumetric mosaic images were acquired at 20 and 40x magnifications with an Olympus BX61 confocal microscope and are shown as maximum-intensity projections. [Link]
  • November/2022: New paper accepted!

    • "Stretch-induced uncrimping of equatorial sclera collagen bundles" by ASME Journal of Biomechanical [Preprint in Biorxiv].

Examples of our work
Click images for more info.

Why biomechanics of the eye?

In our daily lives we rarely think of the eye as a biomechanical structure. The eye, however, is a remarkably complex structure with biomechanics involved in many of its functions. For our eyes to be able to track moving objects, for example, requires a delicate balance of the forces exerted by several muscles. Forces are also responsible for deforming the lens and allow focusing. A slight imbalance between the forces and tissue properties may be enough to alter or even preclude vision. These effects may take place quickly or over long periods, even years. Understanding ocular biomechanics is therefore important for preventing and treating vision loss.


Eye diagram

Schematic cross-section through a human eye. Light enters the eye through the cornea, passes through the pupil, lens and vitreous humour and strikes the retina, where it is absorbed. Retinal nerve fibers transmit visual information to the brain. These fibers converge at the optic nerve head region, exit the eye through the scleral canal, and form the optic nerve. The lamina cribrosa is a porous structure spanning the scleral canal. The vitreous chamber is filled with the vitreous humor, which exerts a pressure, the intraocular pressure, on the surface of the retina. [Sigal et al. Biomech Model Mechanobiol, 8(2):85-98, Apr 2009] (adapted from an illustration from NIH)



The objective of the Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics is to study the eye as a biomechanical structure. More specifically our work is aimed at identifying the causes of glaucoma, with the ultimate intention of finding a way to prevent vision loss.