Seminar: Biomechanics of the Cornea and Sclera

Biomechanics of the Cornea and Sclera
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
2:45 – 3:45 PM
Dr.Thao (Vicky) Nguyen
The Johns Hopkins University

The transparent cornea and opaque sclera together form the primary structural component of the eye. Both tissues serve to protect the delicate internal ocular structures from external injuries and maintain an optimal ocular shape for vision. The mechanical properties of the tissues stem from the fibrous microstructure of the stroma, which consists of densely stacked lamellae of type I collagen fibrils embedded in a matrix of proteoglycans and elastin. Diseases such as keratoconus, myopia, and glaucoma have been associated with alterations in the fibrous microstructure and mechanical properties of the tissues. This seminar will present the development of inflation test methods with full-field displacement measurements to characterize the spatially varying, anisotropic, and time-dependent properties of the cornea and sclera, and constitutive and computational models to investigate the microstructural origins of these complex mechanical properties. Recent application of these methods to study the influence of scleral mechanics in the development of glaucoma will also be presented.

Thao D. Nguyen obtained her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1998, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2004. Upon receiving her degree, she worked as a research scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA then joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor in 2007. Her research focuses on the biomechanics of soft tissues and the thermo-mechanics of polymers. Dr. Nguyen was awarded the 2008 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her work on constitutive modeling of shape memory polymers.

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