Assessment of Corneal Biomechanical Properties with Inflation Test Using Optical Coherence Tomography

Like Wang, Lei Tian, Yanping Huang, Yifei Huang, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Biomechanical properties are important for the cornea to maintain its normal shape and function. There is still a need to develop better methods for accurate measurement of corneal mechanical properties. In this study, we propose to introduce the optical coherence tomography (OCT) in inflation test for the imaging of corneal deformation in order to measure its biomechanical properties. Ten cornea-mimicking silicone phantoms with different stiffness and five fresh porcine corneas were tested using the proposed method. Intra-ocular pressure was changed from 10 to 90 mmHg using two different loading rates to observe the pressure-apex displacement relationship and calculate the apparent stiffness of the corneas. Stiffness of the corneal phantoms obtained by the inflation test ranged from 0.2 to 1 MPa, which was highly consistent with the results from the mechanical tensile test (y = 0.70x, p < 0.001). The porcine corneas showed highly viscoelastic behavior with obvious hysteresis in inflation. The apparent stiffness of the porcine corneas was 0.63 ± 0.07 and 1.05 ± 0.08 MPa with loading rates of 3.3 and 33 mmHg/min, respectively. Mapping of corneal surface displacement was also generated for both the phantom and porcine corneas. This study showed that it is feasible to incorporate the high resolution OCT imaging in inflation test to measure the biomechanical properties of the cornea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Deformation
  • Elasticity
  • Imaging
  • Stiffness
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Young’s modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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