Measuring the eyelid bio-mechanical properties in the clinic

Type: MS
Department: Optometry & Vision Science, University of Auckland
Main Supervisor: Dr Ehsan Vaghefi

This funded MS project is for a student interested and experienced in bioinstrumentation and image processing.

The eyelid is an important part of our visual system, as it protects the surface of the eye. It also lubricates the outermost layers of the cornea, during each blink. However, little is known about the biomechanical interaction of the eyelid and the corneal outer surface. This is important since the optical properties of the cornea are known to be affected by the externally applied mechanical pressures, including from the eyelid. It is also known that the mechanical properties of the eyelid could also change due to aging, or ophthalmic operations (e.g. cataract surgery, which is the most commonly performed surgical operation worldwide). The eyelid pressure on the cornea has been experimentally measured elsewhere using contact mechanical pulling methods and resistivity change measures. However, this contact-based method is not readily applicable in the eye clinic.

In this project, we aim to replicate the existing methodology in the lab. We would then develop an optical non-contact method, based on closed-eye controlled gazing and high-resolution multi-angle imaging of the eye. Next, we would validate the non-contact method against the established contact process. Finally, this optical method will be tested in a clinical setup, to assess its validity and applicability.

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