Ultrasonic measurement of the biomechanical properties of the cornea using a living rabbit model

P. L. Prendiville*, H. Wang, R. F. Lee, L. B. Moreira, W. V. Chang, P. J. McDonnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose. An ultrasonic technique was used in an attempt to measure the biomechanical properties of the cornea in vivo. Methods. One eye of four New Zealand white rabbits and four pigmented rabbits were tested. Each of the eight eyes was gently scraped with the blunt side of a #15 scalpel in order to remove the corneal epithelium. Intraocular pressure was maintained between 24.5 and 35 mm Hg for each measurement. Following gently proptosing the eye, shear wave measurements were performed using a 2.25 MHz ultrasonic transducer (General Electric; Chicago, IL), and a mode conversion block. A Matec SR-9000 (Hopkinton, MA) pulse receiver card was used to generate and detect the ultrasonic wave with analog to digital transformation performed by the Matec SR-9010 data acquisition card. Results. The measured shear wave velocity (Cs) for the four New Zealand rabbits was 33.9±4.9 m/sec, and for the four pigmented rabbits was 37.1±4.7 m/sec. The mean shear wave speed for the shear wave speed for all eight rabbits was 35.4±5.0 m/sec resulting in a shear modulus (G) of (1.30±0.37) × 106N/m2, and a Young's modulus (E) of (3.91±1.13) × 106 N/m2. Conclusion. An ultrasonic technique is reported as a technique for the in vivo measurement of the biomechanical properties of the cornea. The shear wave speed in the living rabbit cornea is less than reported values for human cadaver eyes, which may be due to the absence of Bowman's layer in rabbit eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1007
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Feb 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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