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Biomed Opt Express. 2012 Mar 1;3(3):473-87. doi: 10.1364/BOE.3.000473. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Dynamic OCT measurement of corneal deformation by an air puff in normal and cross-linked corneas.

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  • 1Instituto de Optica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Serrano 121, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


A new technique is presented for the non-invasive imaging of the dynamic response of the cornea to an air puff inducing a deformation. A spectral OCT instrument combined with an air tonometer in a non-collinear configuration was used to image the corneal deformation over full corneal cross-sections, as well as to obtain high speed measurements of the temporal evolution of the corneal apex. The entire deformation process can be dynamically visualized. A quantitative analysis allows direct extraction of several deformation parameters, such as amplitude, diameter and volume of the maximum deformation, as well as duration and speed of the increasing deformation period and the recovery period. The potential of the technique is demonstrated on porcine corneas in vitro under constant IOP for several conditions (untreated, after riboflavin instillation and under cross-linking with ultraviolet light), as well as on human corneas in vivo. The new technique has proved very sensitive to detect differences in the deformation parameters across conditions. We have confirmed non-invasively that Riboflavin and UV-cross-linking induce changes in the corneal biomechanical properties. Those differences appear to be the result of changes in constituent properties of the cornea, and not a consequence of changes in corneal thickness, geometry or IOP. These measurements are a first step for the estimation of the biomechanical properties of corneal tissue, at an individual level and in vivo, to improve diagnosis and prognosis of diseases and treatments involving changes in the biomechanical properties of the cornea.


(170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.4470) Ophthalmology; (170.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (330.4460) Ophthalmic optics and devices; (330.5370) Physiological optics

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