Investigation of the motion of a viscous fluid in the vitreous cavity induced by eye rotations and implications for drug delivery

Andrea Bonfiglio, Rodolfo Repetto, Jennifer H. Siggers, Alessandro Stocchino

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Intravitreal drug delivery is a commonly used treatment for several retinal diseases. The objective of this research is to characterize and quantify the role of the vitreous humor motion, induced by saccadic movements, on drug transport processes in the vitreous chamber. A Perspex model of the human vitreous chamber was created, and filled with a purely viscous fluid, representing eyes with a liquefied vitreous humor or those containing viscous tamponade fluids. Periodic movements were applied to the model and the resulting three-dimensional (3D) flow fields were measured. Drug delivery within the vitreous chamber was investigated by calculating particle trajectories using integration over time of the experimental velocity fields. The motion of the vitreous humor generated by saccadic eye movements is intrinsically 3D. Advective mass transport largely overcomes molecular diffusive transport and is significantly anisotropic, leading to a much faster drug dispersion than in the case of stationary vitreous humor. Disregarding the effects of vitreous humor motion due to eye movements when predicting the efficiency of drug delivery treatments leads to significant underestimation of the drug transport coefficients, and this, in turn, will lead to significantly erroneous predictions of the concentration levels on the retina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1982
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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