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Fluid mechanics of the eye

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Anne Herrmann.

The functioning of the eye is largely based on the presence and dynamics of fluids within the organ. Moreover, various major ocular pathological conditions are related to the presence of fluids. The anterior part of the eye, delimited by the cornea and the lens, contains the aqueous humour, a transparent fluid with properties similar to water. Aqueous humour is constantly pumped into the eye and drains at the angle between iris and cornea. Balance between aqueous production and resistance to drainage controls the intraocular pressure. Aqueous humour is also responsible for delivering nutrients to the non vascularised tissues of the cornea and lens. The space behind the lens, surrounded posteriorly by the retina, is called vitreous chamber and contains the vitreous humour. In young subjects the vitreous is a viscoelastic gel but, with advancing age, it typically undergoes liquefaction. The vitreous supports the sensory layer of the retina in contact with the pigment epithelium and acts as a diffusion barrier between the anterior and the posterior segments of the eye. During the gel disruption process, vitreoretinal tractions can be generated, which are responsible for several retinal pathological conditions, such as macular oedema and retinal detachment.

Mathematical modelling of fluid mechanics in the eye has the potential of providing very useful clinical information on ocular physiology and can help understanding the origin and development of diseases. In this talk I will review some work I have done in the field of ocular fluid mechanics in the last years, focusing in particular on i) the generation of vitreoretinal tractions and ii) fluid motion in the anterior chamber during eye rotations.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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