A shell model of eye growth and elasticity


Kimpton, L
Walker, B
Hall, C
Bintu, B
Crosby, D
Byrne, H
Goriely, A

Publication Date: 

20 January 2021


Journal of Elasticity

Last Updated: 





The eye grows during childhood to position the retina at the correct distance
behind the lens to enable focused vision, a process called emmetropization.
Animal studies have demonstrated that this growth process is dependent upon
visual stimuli, while genetic and environmental factors that affect the
likelihood of developing myopia have also been identified. The coupling between
growth, remodeling and elastic response in the eye is particularly challenging
to understand. To analyse this coupling, we develop a simple model of an eye
growing under intraocular pressure in response to visual stimuli. Distinct to
existing three-dimensional finite-element models of the eye, we treat the
sclera as a thin axisymmetric hyperelastic shell which undergoes local growth
in response to external stimulus. This simplified analytic model provides a
tractable framework in which to evaluate various emmetropization hypotheses and
understand different types of growth feedback, which we exemplify by
demonstrating that local growth laws are sufficient to tune the global size and
shape of the eye for focused vision across a range of parameter values.

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Publication Type: 

Journal Article