The retinal ganglion cell axons carry visual information, and pass through the optic nerve head (ONH) as they traverse from inside the eye to the brain. The ONH is the site of axonal damage in glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and ONH biomechanics is hypothesized to play a crucial role in the development and progression of the disease. The load bearing tissues of the ONH insert into the surrounding sclera, which provides the boundary conditions for this important structure. It is therefore important to develop accurate experimental techniques to measure scleral shell deformations under intraocular pressure (IOP) loading that can be used to drive constitutive and computational models of scleral biomechanics. The overall goal of this project is to better understand the role of ocular biomechanics in the development of glaucoma by constructing eye-specific finite element models of the posterior pole and ONH.

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