A porohyperelastic finite element model of the eye: the influence of stiffness and permeability on intraocular pressure and optic nerve head biomechanics

Avinash Ayyalasomayajula, Robert I. Park, Bruce R. Simon, Jonathan P Vande Geest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Progressively deteriorating visual field is a characteristic feature of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), and the biomechanics of optic nerve head (ONH) is believed to be important in its onset. We used porohyperelasticity to model the complex porous behavior of ocular tissues to better understand the effect variations in ocular material properties can have on ONH biomechanics. An axisymmetric model of the human eye was constructed to parametrically study how changes in the permeabilities of retina–Bruch's–choroid complex (Formula presented.) , sclera (Formula presented.) , uveoscleral pathway (Formula presented.) , and trabecular meshwork (Formula presented.) as well as how changes in the stiffness of the lamina cribrosa (LC) and sclera affect IOP, LC strains, and translaminar interstitial pressure gradients (TLIPG). Decreasing (Formula presented.) from 5 × 10− 12 to 5 × 10− 13 m/s increased IOP and LC strains by 17%, and TLIPG by 21%. LC strains increased by 13% and 9% when the scleral and LC moduli were decreased by 48% and 50%, respectively. In addition to the trabecular meshwork and uveoscleral pathway, the retina–Bruch's–choroid complex had an important effect on IOP, LC strains, and TLIPG. Changes in (Formula presented.) and scleral modulus resulted in nonlinear changes in the IOP, and LC strains especially at the lowest (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.). This study demonstrates that porohyperelastic modeling provides a novel method for computationally studying the biomechanical environment of the ONH. Porohyperelastic simulations of ocular tissues may help provide further insight into the complex biomechanical environment of posterior ocular tissues in POAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-602
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 25 2016



  • choroid
  • finite element analysis
  • ocular biomechanics
  • permeability
  • porohyperelasticity
  • translaminar pressure gradients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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