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Technical Brief

A methodology for individual-specific modeling of rat optic nerve head biomechanics in glaucoma

[+] Author and Article Information
Stephen A. Schwaner

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332
sschwaner3@gatech.edu

Alison M. Kight

Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332
akight3@gatech.edu

Robert N. Perry

Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332
rperry36@gatech.edu

Marta Pazos

Institut Clínic d‘Oftalmologia, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
martapazoslopez@gmail.com

Hongli Yang

Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory, Discoveries in Sight Research Laboratories, Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Health System, Portland, OR 97210
hyang@deverseye.org

Elaine C. Johnson

The Kenneth C. Swan Ocular Neurobiology Laboratory, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA 97239
johnsoel@ohsu.edu

John C. Morrison

The Kenneth C. Swan Ocular Neurobiology Laboratory, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA 97239
morrisoj@ohsu.edu

Claude F. Burgoyne

Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory, Discoveries in Sight Research Laboratories, Devers Eye Institute, Legacy Health System, Portland, OR 97210
cfburgoyne@deverseye.org

C. Ross Ethier

Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332
ross.ethier@bme.gatech.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039998 History: Received January 01, 2018; Revised April 10, 2018

Abstract

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness and involves the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Although biomechanics likely contributes to axonal injury within the optic nerve head (ONH), leading to RGC death, the pathways by which this occurs are not well understood. While rat models of glaucoma are well-suited for mechanistic studies, the anatomy of the rat ONH is different from the human, and the resulting differences in biomechanics have not been characterized. The aim of this study is to describe a methodology for building individual-specific finite element (FE) models of rat optic nerve heads. This method was used to build three rat ONH FE models and compute the biomechanical environment within these ONHs. Initial results show that rat ONH strains are larger and more asymmetric than those seen in human ONH modeling studies. This method provides a framework for building additional models of normotensive and glaucomatous rat ONHs. Comparing model strain patterns with patterns of cellular response seen in studies using rat glaucoma models will help us to learn more about the link between biomechanics and glaucomatous cell death, which in turn may drive development of novel therapies for glaucoma.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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