A Modeling Approach for Investigating Opto-Mechanical Relationships in the Human Eye Lens

Kehao Wang, Demetrios Venetsanos, Masato Hoshino, Kentaro Uesugi, Naoto Yagi, Barbara Pierscionek

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Objective: The human visual system alters its focus by a shape change of the eye lens. The extent to which the lens can adjust ocular refractive power is dependent to a significant extent on its material properties. Yet, this fundamental link between the optics and mechanics of the lens has been relatively under-investigated. This study aims to investigate this opto-mechanical link within the eye lens to gain insight into the processes of shape alteration and their respective decline with age. Methods: Finite Element models based on biological lenses were developed for five ages: 16, 35, 40, 57, and 62 years by correlating in vivo measurements of the longitudinal modulus using Brillouin scattering with in vitro X-ray interferometric measurements of refractive index and taking into account various directions of zonular force. Results: A model with radial cortical Young's moduli provides the same amount of refractive power with less change in thickness than a model with uniform cortical Young's modulus with a uniform stress distribution and no discontinuities along the cortico-nuclear boundary. The direction of zonular angles can significantly influence curvature change regardless of the modulus distribution. Conclusions: The present paper proposes a modelling approach for the human lens, coupling optical and mechanical properties, which shows the effect of parameter choice on model response. Significance: This advanced modelling approach, considering the important interplay between optical and mechanical properties, has potential for use in design of accommodating implant lenses and for investigating non-biological causes of pathological processes in the lens (e.g., cataract).

Original languageEnglish
Article number8788637
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
Early online date5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.


  • Opto-mechanical modelling
  • accommodation
  • finite element analysis
  • human eye lens
  • radial cortical Young's moduli
  • zonules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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