Dynamic multi-arm radial lens stretcher: a robotic analog of the ciliary body.

Research paper by Matthew A MA Reilly, Paul D PD Hamilton, Nathan N Ravi

Indexed on: 11 Dec '07Published on: 11 Dec '07Published in: Experimental Eye Research


We developed a dynamic lens stretching device to quantitatively determine the relationships between force, equatorial displacement, and anterior curvature. A computer-controlled four-arm lens stretcher, equipped with real-time force transducers in each arm, was designed and constructed to obtain transient force measurements during lens stretching. The force-decay spectrum was fitted with a seven-parameter viscoelastic model characterized by three time constants. A corneal topography unit was used to measure the curvature of fresh porcine lenses ex vivo and in vitro in a four-arm lens stretcher at various equatorial displacements. The lens stretcher and corneal topography unit provided detailed information regarding the behavior of the porcine lens in vitro. For all lenses, the central portion of the anterior surface flattened as zonular force increased. Force increased nonlinearly with equatorial displacement. Relaxation time constants for accommodation were 34.5+/-12.2 ms, 310+/-122 ms, and 12,800+/-9490 ms. Time constants for disaccommodation were 34.9+/-4.7 ms, 291+/-79.1 ms, and 3400+/-775 ms, which were not statistically different from those measured for accommodation. The lens stretcher acts as a robotic analog of the ciliary body. This device allows direct, quantitative measurement of the forces and curvature changes relevant to accommodation. However, distortions were present due to the use of only four arms.