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Ocular Biomechanics of Normal Aging and Disease

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Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. | doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00153

Changes in vitreoretinal adhesion with age and region in human and sheep eyes

  • 1Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, United States

While several studies have qualitatively investigated age- and region-dependent adhesion between the vitreous and retina, no studies have directly measured the vitreoretinal strength of adhesion. In this study, we developed a rotational peel device and associated methodology to measure the maximum and steady-state peel forces between the vitreous and the retina. Vitreoretinal adhesion in the equator and posterior pole was measured in human eyes from donors ranging 30 to 79 years of age, and in sheep eyes from premature, neonatal, young lamb, and young adult sheep. In human eyes, maximum peel force in the equator (7.24±4.13 mN) was greater than in the posterior pole (4.08±2.03 mN). This trend was especially evident for younger eyes from donors 30 to 39 years of age. After 60 years of age, there was a significant decrease in the maximum equatorial (4.69±2.52 mN, p=0.016) and posterior pole adhesion (2.95±1.25 mN, p=0.037). In immature sheep eyes, maximum adhesion was 7.60±3.06 mN, and did not significantly differ between the equator and posterior pole until young adulthood. At this age, the maximum adhesion in the equator nearly doubled (16.67±7.45 mN) that of the posterior pole, similar to the young adult human eyes. Light microscopy images suggest more disruption of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in immature sheep eyes compared to adult sheep eyes. Interestingly, in human eyes, ILM disruption was significantly greater in the posterior pole (p<0.05) and in people over 60 years of age (p<0.02). These findings supplement the current discussion surrounding age-related posterior vitreous detachment, and the risk factors and physiological progressions associated with this condition. In addition, these data further our understanding of the biomechanical mechanisms of vitreoretinal adhesion, and can be used to develop age-appropriate computational models simulating retinal detachment, hemorrhaging or retinal trauma.

Keywords: peel, Vitreous Body, Retina, Inner limiting membrane, posterior vitreous detachment, Retinal Detachment, Vitrectomy

Received: 16 Mar 2018; Accepted: 05 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Bernardo Innocenti, Free University of Brussels, Belgium

Reviewed by:

Jason Luck, Duke University, United States
Silvia Piangiani, Free University of Brussels, Belgium  

Copyright: © 2018 Creveling, Colter and Coats. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Brittany Coats, University of Utah, Mechanical Engineering, Salt Lake City, 84112, UT, United States, brittany.coats@utah.edu