Biomechanics of the sclera in myopia: Extracellular and cellular factors

McBrien, Neville A., Jobling, Andrew I. and Gentle, Alex 2009, Biomechanics of the sclera in myopia: Extracellular and cellular factors, Optometry and vision science, vol. 86, no. 1, pp. 23-30, doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3181940669.

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Title Biomechanics of the sclera in myopia: Extracellular and cellular factors
Author(s) McBrien, Neville A.
Jobling, Andrew I.
Gentle, AlexORCID iD for Gentle, Alex
Journal name Optometry and vision science
Volume number 86
Issue number 1
Start page 23
End page 30
Total pages 8
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2009-01
ISSN 1538-9235
Summary Excessive axial elongation of the eye is the principal structural cause of myopia. The increase in eye size results from active remodelling of the sclera, producing a weakened scleral matrix. The present study will detail the biomechanics of the sclera and highlight the matrix and cellular factors important in the control of eye size. Scleral elasticity (load vs. tissue extension) and creep rate (tissue extension vs. time) have been measured postmortem in human eyes. Animal models of myopia have allowed the direct relevance of scleral biomechanics to be investigated during myopia development. Recently, data on tissue matrices incorporating scleral fibroblasts have highlighted the role of cellular contraction in scleral biomechanics. Scleral elasticity is increased in eyes developing myopia, with a reduction in the failure load of the tissue. Scleral creep rate is increased in the sclera from eyes developing myopia, and reduced in eyes recovering from myopia. These changes in biomechanical properties of the sclera occur early in the development of myopia (within 24 h). Alterations in scleral biomechanics during myopia development have been attributed to changes in matrix constituents, principally reduced collagen content. Although the biochemical structure of the sclera plays a critical role in defining the mechanical properties, recent studies investigating the cellular mechanics of the sclera, implicate myofibroblasts in scleral biomechanics. Scleral myofibroblasts have the capacity to contract the matrix and are regulated by tissue stress and growth factors such as transforming growth factor-ß. Changes in these regulatory factors have been observed during myopia development, implicating cellular factors in the resultant weakened sclera. Changes in the biomechanical properties of the sclera are important in facilitating the increase in axial length that results in myopia. Understanding the matrix and cellular factors contributing to the weakened sclera may aid in the development of a clinically appropriate treatment for myopia.
Language eng
DOI 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3181940669
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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