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Title: Method for the biomechanical analysis of aqueous veins and perilimbal sclera by three-dimensional photoacoustic imaging and strain field calculation
Abstract A method motivated by the eye’s aqueous veins is described for the imaging and strain calculation within soft biological tissues. A challenge to the investigation of the biomechanics of the aqueous vein—perilimbal sclera tissue complex is resolution of tissue deformations as a function of intraocular pressure and the subsequent calculation of strain (a normalized measure of deformation). The method involves perfusion of the eye with a contrast agent during conduction of non-invasive, optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy. This imaging technique permits three-dimensional displacement measurements of tracked points on the inner walls of the veins which are used in a finite element model to determine the corresponding strains. The methods are validated against two standard strain measurement methods. Representative porcine globe perfusion experiments are presented that demonstrate the power of the method to determine complex strain fields in the veins dependent on intraocular pressure as well as vein anatomy. In these cases, veins are observed to move radially outward during increases in intraocular pressure and to possess significant spatial strain variation, possibly influenced by their branching patterns. To the authors’ knowledge, these are the only such quantitative, data driven, calculations of the aqueous vein strains available in the open literature.
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Scientific Reports
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National Science Foundation
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