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Regional variation of biomechanical stiffness across the surface of the cornea using a non-contact method

Project Description

This position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found.

In vivo determination of the biomechanical properties of the cornea is essential for customisation of treatments for individual patient’s needs. Applications include planning of refractive surgery (to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism), selection of corneal implants (to correct ocular refractive errors) and design of soft contact lenses (where mechanical interaction between eye and lens is currently ignored). This project aims to address this important unmet need through the development of technology that uses a non-contact, air-puff based device to produce maps of regional variation of the cornea’s biomechanical stiffness. The device will monitor cornea’s deformation under the dynamic air-puff and use a combination of numerical modelling and experimental validation to determine the variation of stiffness. The new technology will be based on techniques developed recently by the Engineering Biomechanics Group in Liverpool to produce a single material behaviour pattern for the whole cornea. While this pattern is useful for healthy eyes, it would not be sufficient for keratoconic and ectatic eyes, where the regional variation of stiffness is not known.

Funding Notes

Student will need to cover their own tuition fees and living expenses, research consumables costs will be covered by the research group.


Elsheikh, A., Joda, A., Abass, A., Garway-Heath, D.F., Assessment of the Ocular Response Analyzer as an Instrument for Measurement of Intraocular Pressure and Corneal Biomechanics, Current Eye Research, 2014, ISSN: 0271-3683 print / 1460-2202 online, DOI: 10.3109/02713683.2014.978479

Elsheikh, A., 2010. Finite element modeling of corneal biomechanical behavior. Journal of Refractive Surgery, 26(4), pp.289-300.

Kotecha, A., Elsheikh, A., Roberts, C.R., Zhu, H. and Garway-Heath, D.F., 2006. Corneal thickness-and age-related biomechanical properties of the cornea measured with the ocular response analyzer. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 47(12), pp.5337-5347.

Vinciguerra, R., Ambrósio, R., Elsheikh, A., Roberts, C.J., Lopes, B., Morenghi, E., Azzolini, C. and Vinciguerra, P., 2016. Detection of keratoconus with a new biomechanical index. Journal of Refractive Surgery, 32(12), pp.803-810.

Roberts, C.J., Mahmoud, A.M., Bons, J.P., Hossain, A., Elsheikh, A., Vinciguerra, R., Vinciguerra, P. and Ambrósio, R., 2017. Introduction of Two Novel Stiffness Parameters and Interpretation of Air Puff–Induced Biomechanical Deformation Parameters with a Dynamic Scheimpflug Analyzer. Journal of Refractive Surgery, 33(4), pp.266-273.

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