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Keywords:

  • human retina;
  • choroid and sclera;
  • mechanical properties;
  • thickness;
  • uniaxial test;
  • age

Abstract

This study examines the elastic properties of the human posterior retina, choroid, and sclera. Twenty-four human eyes from 30- to 74-year-old donors were obtained from an eye bank. Vertically and horizontally oriented tissue strips of the retina, choroid, and sclera (ideally n = 12 in each group) were harvested from the posterior eyes. Their thicknesses were estimated optically. The samples were stretched at 1 mm/s in 37°C saline. Stress and strain were obtained from the mechanical tests, and then the transition stress, transition strain, toe modulus, and heel modulus were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed for comparison between groups. Linear regression analyses were used to explore the relationship between the mechanical parameters and age. We found that the stress–strain relationship of the retina, choroid, and sclera were nonlinear. Except for the retinal transition strain (p = 0.0124), no statistical difference was found between the vertical and horizontal meridian in the mechanical parameters (p > 0.05). Furthermore, weak relationship was observed between some of the mechanical parameters and the donors' age. Our results suggest that there is significant anisotropy in the retina, and mechanical properties of each layer may change with age. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 102A: 2001–2007, 2014.