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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

Latest News

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

  • July/2022: New paper published!

    • "Evidence of an Annexin A4 mediated plasma membrane repair response to biomechanical strain associated with glaucoma pathogenesis", by Journal of Cellular Physiology. [Link]

    • A collaboration with Jeremy Sivak, Nevena Vicic, Xiaoxin Guo and Darren Chan from the University of Toronto, and John G Flanagan from U.C. Berkeley.

  • June/2022: Three podium presentations

    • By Mohammad Islam, Bingrui Wang, and Yi Hua. SB3C (Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference), Cambridge, MD, June 20-23, 2022.

  • June/2022: Three posters and a podium presentation

    • By Mohammad Islam, Yuankai Lu, Bingrui Wang, and Marissa Quinn. Vision Research Day, June 3, 2022.

  • May/2022: New Gallery Tab

    • We have replaced the software tab with a gallery. Already added a few recordings of conference presentations and cool demos.

  • May/2022: Two Posters and a Podium Presentation

    • By Jason Hua, Susannah Waxman and Ian A. Sigal. ISER/Brightfocus Glaucoma Meeting, Atlanta, GA, May 24-27, 2022

  • May/2022: Three Poster Presentations

    • By Manik Bansal, Bingrui Wang and Yuankai Lu. University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association (UPPDA) Data and Dine Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA, May 25, 2022

  • May/2022: Welcome Summer 2022 Students!

    • Andrew Theophanous, Shaharoz Tahir, Venkat Daita, Grace O'Malley, Isabella Mailer, Maya Iwabuchi (TECBio), John Maglosky (MEMS 1042) and Lucas Bechtold (MEMS 1042).

  • May/2022: Congratulations Spring 2022 MEMS Senior Design Team!

    • They won 3rd place in their department for their Bi-Axial Tensioning Device for Use in Ocular Tissue Microscopy at the Spring Design Expo! [Link]

  • May/2022: Our lab participated in ARVO 2022 (in person in Denver)

    • Two podium and three poster presentations.

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.