The human lens provides one-third of the ocular focussing power and is responsible for altering focus over a range of distances. This ability, termed accommodation, defines the process by which the lens alters shape to increase or decrease ocular refractive power; this is mediated by the ciliary muscle through the zonule. This ability decreases with age such that around the sixth decade of life it is lost rendering the eye unable to focus on near objects. There are two opponent theories that provide an explanation for the mechanism of accommodation; definitive support for either of these requires investigation. This work aims to elucidate how material properties can affect accommodation using Finite Element models based on interferometric measurements of refractive index. Gradients of moduli are created in three models from representative lenses, aged 16, 35 and 48 years. Different forms of zonular attachments are studied to determine which may most closely mimic the physiological form by comparing stress and displacement fields with simulated shape changes to accommodation in living lenses. The results indicate that for models to mimic accommodation in living eyes, the anterior and posterior parts of the zonule need independent force directions. Choice of material properties affects which theory of accommodation is supported.
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