Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The effect of changing intraocular pressure on the corneal and scleral curvatures in the fresh porcine eye
  1. B K Pierscionek1,
  2. M Asejczyk-Widlicka1,
  3. R A Schachar2
  1. 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2Department of Physics, University of Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to: B K Pierscionek Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, UK; b.pierscionek{at}


Aim: To measure corneal and scleral radii of curvature in response to intraocular pressure (IOP).

Methods: Using digital photographic profile images of 16 fresh porcine eyes, the curvatures of the cornea and sclera were determined in response to five consecutive incremental 100 μl saline intravitreal injections. IOP was measured and ocular rigidity calculated. Elastic moduli of the cornea and sclera were estimated.

Results: Intraocular pressure and the radius of curvature of the sclera increased linearly with increasing volume. There was no statistical change in corneal curvature. The elasticity of the cornea and sclera was constant during the 15–50 mm Hg increase in IOP. The estimated range of the elastic moduli of the cornea and sclera were, respectively 0.07–0.29 MPa and 0.2 MPa to 0.5 MPa. The scleral rigidity ranged from 0.0017 to 0.0022.

Conclusions: The elastic moduli of the cornea and sclera are independent of IOP. The modulus of elasticity of the sclera is higher than that of the cornea. Elevation of IOP changes the curvature of the sclera but not that of the cornea. Porcine scleral rigidity is similar to human scleral rigidity. Scleral curvature could be a novel method for measuring IOP.

  • IOP, intraocular pressure

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Published Online First 6 December 2006