Nanomechanical mapping helps explain differences in outcomes of eye microsurgery: A comparative study of macular pathologies

Gabriele Ciasca, Valeria Pagliei, Eleonora Minelli, Francesca Palermo, Matteo Nardini, Valentina Pastore, Massimiliano Papi, Aldo Caporossi, Marco De Spirito, Angelo Maria Minnella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many ocular diseases are associated with an alteration of the mechanical and the material properties of the eye. These mechanically-related diseases include macular hole and pucker, two ocular conditions due to the presence of abnormal physical tractions acting on the retina. A complete relief of these tractions can be obtained through a challenging microsurgical procedure, which requires the mechanical peeling of the internal limiting membrane of the retina (ILM). In this paper, we provide the first comparative study of the nanoscale morphological and mechanical properties of the ILM in macular hole and macular pucker. Our nanoscale elastic measurements unveil a different bio-mechanical response of the ILM in the two pathologies, which correlates well to significant differences occurring during microsurgery. The results here presented pave the way to the development of novel dedicated microsurgical protocols based on the material ILM properties in macular hole or pucker. Moreover, they contribute to clarify why, despite a common aetiology, a patient might develop one disease or the other, an issue which is still debated in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0220571
JournalPLoS One
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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