Organization And Properties Of The Human Sclera And Its Relation To Glaucoma

Jonathan Vande Geest, PhD
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
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Award Region:
US Southwestern
Recipient of the Thomas R. Lee award for National Glaucoma Research
Jonathan Vande Geest, PhD

Microstructural And Biomechanical Properties Of Human Sclera


This research is aimed at identifying whether changes in peripapillary human scleral microstructure and mechanical properties occur within human donor eyes of varying ages, races, and in the presence or absence of glaucoma. Such information will be important in quantifying the biomechanical environment of the optic nerve head. These studies may also eventually lead to improved diagnostic tools for glaucoma.


In our research we:

1) use sophisticated experiments to characterize how the mechanical properties of the sclera vary with age, race, and glaucoma; and

2) use sophisticated imaging techniques to quantify how such changes occur.

Our team is especially excited about utilizing state of the art techniques in biomechanics and bioimaging to develop new and innovative diagnostic tools for glaucoma.


Mortazavi AM, Simon BR, Stamer WD, Vande Geest JP. (2009) Drained secant modulus for human and porcine peripapillary sclera using unconfined compression testing. Exp Eye Res. 2009 Dec;89(6):892-7. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon

(This manuscript details the compressive mechanical properties of human and porcine scleral specimens. Particular attention was placed to the equilibrium compressive moduli of these tissues. Future investigations will also utilize resulting datasets for visco/poro elastic quantification.)

Yan D, McPheeters S, Johnson G, Utzinger U, Vande Geest JP. Microstructural differences in the human posterior sclera as a function of age and race. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Feb 11;52(2):821-9. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon

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