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Laboratory of
Ocular Biomechanics

University of Pittsburgh

Latest News

Five poster presentations

  • 2016 Annual International Vision Conference on Vision Resrtoration: Regenerative Medicine in Ophthalmology Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, June 20-21, 2016.

New paper accepted

  • "What is a typical optic nerve head?"
    by Experimental Eye Research.

Special Chair Guest Lecture

  • Department of Ophthalmology, University of Michigah, Ann Arbor, MI, May 23, 2016.

Poster presentation

  • University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association (UPPDA) Data and Dine Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA, May 17, 2016.

Ground Rounds Lecture

  • Stony Brook Department of Ophthalmology, Stony Brook, NY, May 12, 2016.

Two podium and three poster presentations

  • UPMC Eye Center Alumni Day, Pittsburgh, PA, May 12-13, 2016.

Welcome Jacob Wallace and Rafique Khan

  • Joined our laboratory as research assistants.

Four podium and eight poster presentations at ARVO

  • Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Seattle, WA, May 1-5, 2016.

One podium and three poster presentations at ARVO Imaging

  • ARVO Imaging in the Eye Conference, Seattle, WA, April 30, 2016.

New paper accepted

  • "Decreased lamina cribrosa beam thickness and pore diameter relative to distance from the central retinal vessel trunk"
    by IOVS (Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science). In collaboration with the Glaucoma Imaging Group.

Grant awarded

  • FY2016 Stimulating Pittsburgh Research in Geroscience (SPRIG)
    In Collaboration with Kevin Chan.

Active projects
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.