Ocular Elastography

Jun Liu, PhD

Ocular-Elastography_940x670Jun Liu, PhD, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is continuing research of "Ocular Pulse Elastography". Her co-Investigators include Andrew Hendershot (Ophthalmology), Cynthia Roberts (Ophthalmology and BME), Paul Weber (Ophthalmology) and Jeff Pan (Center for Biostatistics, at Ohio State).

The proposed research will test and establish an innovative technique for quantitative evaluation of the cornea's biomechanical responses and properties in vivo, which will offer a new clinical tool to acquire the functional properties of the cornea. Current approaches for corneal biomechanical characterization often rely on an external force to deform the cornea in order to induce a mechanical response. In addition, most methods do not explicitly address the influence of the intraocular pressure (IOP) on the measured properties. In this project, we aim to build and optimize an ultrasound elastographic technique to characterize the cornea’s response to the cyclic variation of IOP at each cardiac cycle, i.e., the ocular pulse. The baseline IOP and ocular pulse amplitude, which are all measurable in vivo, will be used in combination with the biomechanical measures to derive the intrinsic tissue biomechanical properties that are independent of the IOP parameters. Our preliminary studies have demonstrated that the ocular pulse elastography (OPE) technique, based on high frequency ultrasound radiofrequency data analysis, can provide a strain resolution of 0.05% and better, making it possible to reliably track small in vivo strains induced by an ocular pulse of a few mmHg. The proposed research will establish clinically viable technique to help diagnose debilitating eye diseases such as corneal ectasia at an early stage, and provide a non-invasive, safe tool to guide therapy and monitor treatment response.