Purpose. To evaluate the capability of a novel, coaligned focused ultrasound and phase-sensitive optical coherence elastography (US-OCE) system to assess age-related changes in biomechanical properties of the crystalline lens in situ. Methods. Low-amplitude elastic deformations in young and mature rabbit lenses were measured by an US-OCE system consisting of a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) system coaligned with a focused ultrasound system used to produce a transient force on the lens surface. Uniaxial compressional tests were used to validate the OCE data. Results. The OCE measurements showed that the maximum displacements of the young rabbit lenses were significantly larger than those of the mature lenses, indicating a gradual increase of the lens stiffness with age. Temporal analyses of the displacements also demonstrate a similar trend of elastic properties in these lenses. The stress-strain measurements using uniaxial mechanical tests confirmed the results obtained by the US-OCE system. Conclusions. The results demonstrate that the US-OCE system can be used for noninvasive analysis and quantification of lens biomechanical properties in situ and possibly in vivo.
- Optical coherence elastography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience