Collagen Structure and Mechanical Properties of the Human Sclera: Analysis for the Effects of Age

Baptiste Coudrillier, Jacek Pijanka, Joan Jefferys, Thomas Sorensen, Harry A. Quigley, Craig Boote, Thao D. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to measure the collagen fiber structure and estimate the material properties of 7 human donor scleras, from age 53 to 91. The specimens were subjected to inflation testing, and the full-field displacement maps were measured by digital image correlation. After testing, the collagen fiber structure was mapped using wide-angle X-ray scattering. A specimen-specific inverse finite element method was applied to calculate the material properties of the collagen fibers and interfiber matrix by minimizing the difference between the experimental displacements and model predictions. Age effects on the fiber structure and material properties were estimated using multivariate models accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Older age was associated with a larger matrix stiffness (p = 0.001), a lower degree of fiber alignment in the peripapillary sclera (p = 0.01), and a lower mechanical anisotropy in the peripapillary sclera (p = 0.03).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041006
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • collagen fiber
  • digital image correlation
  • finite element model
  • glaucoma
  • inverse finite element analysis
  • sclera
  • wide angle X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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