The Effects of Extraocular Muscles on Eye Biomechanics
Rath, Amber Lorraine
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Over 2.4 million eye injuries occur each year in the United States as a result of trauma. Eye injuries have been investigated for years; however, the role of the extraocular muscles in relation to eye injuries has yet to be quantified. In this research, Computed Tomography quasi-static tests were conducted to investigate the effect of the presence of the extraocular muscles on the biomechanical response of the human eye in situ. Three matched pairs of human eyes were displaced in 5 mm increments using a large flat cylindrical indenter to a maximum displacement of 30 mm. The loading was similar to what is experienced during a blunt impact, which is believed to cause the most serious eye injuries. In the matched pair, one eye had the extraocular muscles intact and the other had the extraocular muscles transected. Force, pressure, and displacement measurements were collected for each test. A trend was seen where a greater amount of force was created in the eye with the extraocular muscles intact than in the eye with the muscles transected, and a correlation between them was made. The greatest force measured in an eye with the extraocular muscles intact was 92 N, while the greatest force measured in an eye with the extraocular muscles transected was 80 N. An increase in intraocular pressure was also noticed for an eye with the extraocular muscles attached, rising steadily from 2 kPa to a maximum pressure of just over 50 kPa. It was also noted that during a quasi-static impact the eye can move out of the way of the imposing force. Since the test data set was small, analytical calculations were also conducted.
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