Real time analysis and imaging of biomechanical properties is critical in ophthalmology.

The biomechanics of the eye affect its functional responses and greatly impact vision. The physical composition of the various structures of the eye gives it viscoelastic properties; meaning it exhibits elements of both elasticity and viscosity. While various methods have been devised to study the biomechanics of the cornea, only the BOSS™ allows direct measurement of viscoelastic properties of ocular tissues including the cornea. An understanding of corneal biomechanics is critical to diagnose and treat diseases such as keratoconus and ectasia. In addition, successful corneal treatments depend on interactions between biological and biomechanical factors and their impact on surrounding ocular tissues. BOSS™ builds spatially resolved maps of viscoelastic properties measured at different locations in the 3D-space of the tissue.

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ViscoElasticity

The cornea, sclera and crystalline lens of the eye are all complex tissues with both viscous and elastic properties; Elasticity refers to the deformation of the cornea in response to an external stress, and viscosity refers to the resistance of the cornea in regaining the original shape, when the stress is removed. Biomechanics Imaging assesses viscoelastic properties of the ocular tissues where we need them.

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Structural Integrity

Biomechanics Imaging delivers information on the structural integrity of the eye, including its physical properties and areas of weakness. Weaknesses within the extracellular structure of the cornea can lead to deformation and refractive error. These weaknesses can be pre-existing or induced and their analysis and imaging can increase the chances of a successful treatment. 

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INdividualized treatment

Any refractive treatment should be based on the unique parameters of the optical system, of each patient, including structural information, and data related to the physical composition of the eye. Biomechanics analysis and imaging provided by the BOSS™ can deliver the data to support truly individualized treatments.


What is Biomechanics Imaging?

Stiffness maps (right image) will soon be a routine diagnostic for the assessment of structural integrity and physical properties of ocular tissues.

Stiffness maps (right image) will soon be a routine diagnostic for the assessment of structural integrity and physical properties of ocular tissues.

It all started with...

...the introduction of refractive surgery back in the early 1990s, when some treated patients showed unexpected refractive outcomes after surgery due to corneal ectasia - an uncommon, noninflammatory, eye disorder characterized by structural weakening of the cornea, where the cornea starts to bulge forward at a variable time after surgical intervention (e.g. LASIK eye surgery).

Even as patients were more thoroughly examined for possible risk factors such as undetected keratoconus before refractive surgery, some eyes still developed corneal ectasia.

At that time examinations were limited to structural measurements, where topographic, and tomographic imaging was used to determine thickness, curvature and other morphological parameters to assess structural dimensions (i.e., form and shape) of the cornea.

Since then, biomechanical properties have been found the primary reason for the development and progression of keratoconus and post-refractive surgery ectasia. And recently new methods have been introduced that allow assessment of not only structural but also biomechanical (i.e., material) properties.

Intelon Optics is pleased to introduce BOSS™, a unique technology to assess biomechanical properties of the cornea and other critical ocular structures related to eye health.