Age-related variations in the biomechanical properties of human sclera

Brendan Geraghty, Stephen W. Jones, Paolo Rama, Riaz Akhtar, Ahmed Elsheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined age-related changes in biomechanical behaviour in the anterior, equatorial and posterior regions of the human sclera (white of the eye). Circumferential strip specimens were extracted from areas close to the limbus, equator and posterior pole in 45 donor scleras ranging in age between 51 and 84 years. The strips were subjected to cycles of uniaxial tension loading at a strain rate of 8% per minute while monitoring their load-deformation behaviour. All specimens demonstrated nonlinear behaviour with an initially low tangent modulus (a measure of material stiffness) increasing under higher stresses. The average ratios between the tangent modulus at a high stress of 1 MPa and that at a low stress of 0.05 MPa were 11.2±1.7, 12.0±1.7 and 12.4±1.5 for anterior, equatorial and posterior specimens, respectively. Stiffening was observed with age in all regions, but it was statistically significant only in the anterior region (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Ageing
  • Ocular biomechanics
  • Sclera
  • Stress-strain behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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