1. University of Houston Receives NIH Grant for Optical Coherence Elastography of the Cornea

    University of Houston Receives NIH Grant for Optical Coherence Elastography of the Cornea

    University of Houston Received a 2022 NIH Grant for $397,701 for Optical Coherence Elastography of the Cornea.  The principal investigator is Kirill Larin. Below is a summary of the proposed work.

    The fundamental physical properties of the outer tunic of the eye determine the structural characteristics of the ocular globe and may be altered in several devastating disease states including axial elongation in myopia, pathological deformation in keratoconus, and iatrogenic keratoectasia following corneal refractive surgery. These biomechanical tissue characteristics not only influence our clinical interpretation of diagnostic tests, e.g. measurement of intraocular pressure, but have been implicated as important factors in the development of glaucoma. Currently, there is no available reliable method to perform quantitative measurement of corneal elasticity in vivo. Here we will develop novel method for the assessment of corneal elastic properties that could potentially be used for routine clinical diagnostic and treatment. This method will take advantages of highly localized air pressure stimulation and ultra-sensitive detection and analysis of the pressure waves propagation on corneal posterior and anterior surfaces with a line-field Optical Coherence Tomography to reconstruct volumetric biomechanical properties of the cornea. Our previous work has made fundamental advances in the understanding of corneal biomechanics through a novel approach with potentially impactful applications in other disciplines (e.g. cataract surgery, LAISK, corneal cross-linking, and tissue transplants with personalize treatments). The proposed studies will accelerate transition of this technology into clinics, influence our selection and application of corneal surgical treatments and will help us to understand the structural consequences of corneal disease and wound healing: Aim 1. Develop a line-field OCE (LF-OCE) system for ultrafast 3D clinical imaging. Aim 2. In vivo studies with rabbits. Aim 3. Preliminary clinical studies in humans. Aim 4. Refine numerical (FEM) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) models of the depth-dependent nonlinear viscoelastic properties of the cornea.

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