Mathematical modelling of the elastic properties of retina: A determination of Young's modulus

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The retina can be regarded as an elastic membrane or sheet which stretches and deforms when a force is applied to it. Isolated bovine retina was taken and a graded traction force applied to determine retinal profile as a function of force. The resulting profile can be modelled mathematically and the model then used to determine a value for the elastic constant. The value of the elastic constant obtained by this method is approximately 2 N/m. This value of the elastic constant, combined with the observed retinal thickness, yields a value of Young's modulus for retina of approximately 2 × 104 Pa, which is about 2 orders of magnitude weaker than typical rubber. This value can then be used in modelling retinal behaviour in vivo when forces are applied to detached retina.


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Correspondence to J D Stevens.

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Jones, I., Warner, M. & Stevens, J. Mathematical modelling of the elastic properties of retina: A determination of Young's modulus. Eye 6, 556–559 (1992) doi:10.1038/eye.1992.121

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  • Elasticity
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Retina
  • Young's modulus

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