Viscoelastic Biomechanical Properties of the Conventional Aqueous Outflow Pathway Tissues in Healthy and Glaucoma Human Eyes

Alireza Karimi, Reza Razaghi, Steven Padilla, Seyed Mohammadali Rahmati, J. Crawford Downs, Ted S. Acott, Mary J. Kelley, Ruikang K. Wang, Murray Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Although the tissues comprising the ocular conventional outflow pathway have shown strong viscoelastic mechanical response to aqueous humor pressure dynamics, the viscoelastic mechanical properties of the trabecular meshwork (TM), juxtacanalicular connective tissue (JCT), and Schlemm’s canal (SC) inner wall are largely unknown. Methods: A quadrant of the anterior segment from two human donor eyes at low- and high-flow (LF and HF) outflow regions was pressurized and imaged using optical coherence tomography (OCT). A finite element (FE) model of the TM, the adjacent JCT, and the SC inner wall was constructed and viscoelastic beam elements were distributed in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the TM and JCT to represent anisotropic collagen. An inverse FE-optimization algorithm was used to calculate the viscoelastic properties of the ECM/beam elements such that the TM/JCT/SC model and OCT imaging data best matched over time. Results: The ECM of the glaucoma tissues showed significantly larger time-dependent shear moduli compared to the heathy tissues. Significantly larger shear moduli were also observed in the LF regions of both the healthy and glaucoma eyes compared to the HF regions. Conclusions: The outflow tissues in both glaucoma eyes and HF regions are stiffer and less able to respond to dynamic IOP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6049
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Schlemm’s canal
  • beam elements
  • inverse finite element method
  • juxtacanalicular tissue
  • trabecular meshwork
  • viscoelastic material model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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