Flow dynamics of vitreous humour during saccadic eye movements

Silva, Andreia F. and Pimenta, Francisco and Alves, Manuel A. and Oliveira, Monica S.N. (2020) Flow dynamics of vitreous humour during saccadic eye movements. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 110. 103860. ISSN 1751-6161 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.103860)

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In this work, we reveal the flow dynamics of Vitreous Humour (VH) gel and liquid phases during saccadic movements of the eye, considering the biofluids viscoelastic character as well as realistic eye chamber geometry and taking into account the saccade profile. We quantify the differences in the flow dynamics of VH gel and liquid phases using viscoelastic rheological models that are able to model the VH shear rheology, considering different amplitudes of saccadic movements (10 ∘, 20 ∘, 30 ∘ and 40 ∘). For this purpose, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) open source software OpenFOAM® was used. The results portray a distinct flow behaviour for the VH gel and liquid phases, with inertial effects being more significant for the VH liquid phase. Moreover, the Wall Shear Stress (WSS) values produced by the VH gel phase are more than twice of those generated by the VH liquid phase. Results also show that for different amplitudes of eye movement both the velocity magnitude in the vitreous cavity and the shear stresses on the cavity walls rise with increasing saccadic movement displacement.