Stiffness characterization of anisotropic trabecular meshwork.
Elevation of intraocular pressure has been correlated to changes in stiffness of trabecular meshwork (TM) in glaucomatous eyes although mechanical properties of the TM remain to be quantitatively determined. Data in the literature suggest that the TM cannot be considered mechanically as a uniform layer of isotropic elastic material, because the value of its Young's modulus depends on the methods of measurements and can vary up to five orders of magnitude. To this end, we proposed a new theoretical framework for mechanical analysis of the TM, in which the inner wall of Schlemm's canal and the juxtacanalicular tissue in the TM were treated as a uniform layer of isotropic elastic material, and the rest of the TM, i.e., the uveal and corneoscleral meshworks, were modeled as a uniform layer of transversely isotropic material. Using the model, we demonstrated that the large discrepancy in the apparent Young's modulus reported in the literature could be caused by the anisotropy of the meshwork that was significantly stiffer in the longitudinal direction than in the transverse direction. The theoretical framework could be used to integrate existing data of the stiffness, investigate anisotropic behaviors of the tissues, and develop new methods to measure mechanical properties of the TM.
Chang, J; Huang, J; Li, L; Liu, Z; Yuan, F
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