Biomechanics of the Lens Capsule from Native to After Cataract Surgery
Pedrigi, Ryan M.
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The primary function of the lens capsule of the eye unfolds during the process of accommodation; wherein, tension imposed onto its equator is released, allowing the elastic capsule to mold the underlying lens nucleus and cortex into a more quasispherical morphology to change focus from distant to near objects. Given its highly mechanical nature, it is prudent to study the native lens capsule from the perspective of biomechanics for such applications as understanding the mechanism of accommodation. Further, cataract surgery introduces alterations to the geometry of the lens capsule that lead to changes in resident cell behavior from quiescent to contractile and synthetic. Though resultant changes in capsule histology are well documented little has been done to quantify the corresponding altered mechanics, which is important for elucidating related post-surgical pathologies and improving prosthetic lens design. In this study we present the first data on the in situ multiaxial mechanical behavior of the native and hyperglycemic anterior lens capsule in both the porcine and human models. From these data, native stresses in the lens capsule are calculated using a finite element analysis, and alterations in the corresponding strain field are calculated after the introduction of a continuous circular capsulorhexis, which is imposed during cataract surgery. Finally, we quantify both the altered mechanical behavior and contractile loads imposed onto the lens capsule after cataract surgery.