Ocular Biomechanics Laboratory

Principal Investigtor

Ian A. Sigal, PhD
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Bioengineering
Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Director, Imaging Aquisition and Analysis Core Module, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences


Lab Personnel

Manik Bansal, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate
John Gnalian
Jason (Yi) Hua, PhD
, Postdoctoral Associate
Fengting Ji, Graduate Student, Bioengineering
Po-Yi Lee, Graduate Student, Bioengineering
Marissa Quinn
Susanna Waxman, Graduate Student, Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences
Fuquiang Zhong, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate


Research Interests

The objective of the Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics is to study the eye as a biomechanical structure. More specifically our work is aimed at identifying the causes of glaucoma, with the ultimate intention of finding a way to prevent vision loss.

In our daily lives we rarely think of the eye as a biomechanical structure. The eye, however, is a remarkably complex structure with biomechanics involved in many of its functions. For our eyes to be able to track moving objects, for example, requires a delicate balance of the forces exerted by several muscles. Forces are also responsible for deforming the lens and allow focusing. A slight imbalance between the forces and tissue properties may be enough to alter or even preclude vision. These effects may take place quickly or over long periods, even years. Understanding ocular biomechanics is therefore important for preventing and treating vision loss.

For more information, please visit the Ocular Biomechanics Laboratory website


Select Recent Publications

  1. PY Lee, B Yang, Y Hua, B Brazile, F Ji, Z Zhu, GA Fryc and IA Sigal, “Instant polarized light microscopy for real-time wide-field visualization of collagen architecture”, Proc. SPIE, Label-free Biomedical Imaging and Sensing 2020 (Polarization and Dark-field), 11251-35, 16 January 2020.
  2. R Grytz, H Yang, Y Hua, BC Samuels and IA Sigal, “Connective tissue remodeling in myopia and its potential role in increasing risk of glaucoma”, Accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 15 Jan 2020.
  3. C Boote, IA Sigal, R Grytz, Y Hua, TD Nguyen and MJA Girard, “Scleral structure and biomechanics”, Accepted for publication in Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 11 Aug 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.100773.
  4. A Gogola, NJ Jan, KL Lathrop and IA Sigal, “Radial and circumferential collagen fibers are a feature of the peripapillary sclera of human, monkey, pig, cow, goat and sheep”, IOVS, 59(12):4763-4774, October 2018. * eCover of the October 2018 issue
  5. B Yang, B Brazile, NJ Jan, Y Hua, J Wei and IA Sigal, “Structured polarized light microscopy for collagen fiber structure and orientation quantification in thick ocular tissues”, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 23(10), 106001, October 2018.
  6. AP Voorhees, NJ Jan, Y Hua, B Yang and IA Sigal, “Peripapillary sclera architecture revisited: A tangential fiber model and its biomechanical implications”, Acta Biomaterialia, 79:113-122, October 2018. Epub Aug 21 2018. PMID: 30142444
  7. *BL Brazile, *Y Hua, NJ Jan, J Wallace, A Gogola and IA Sigal, “Thin lamina cribrosa beams have different collagen microstructure than thick beams”, IOVS, 59(11):4653-4661, September 2018.
  8. * Authors contributed equally to the manuscript
  9. B Yang, NJ Jan, B Brazile, A Voorhees, KL Lathrop and IA Sigal, “Polarized light microscopy for 3D mapping of collagen fiber architecture in ocular tissues”, Journal of Biophotonics, 11(8):e201700356, August 2018, Epub May 6th 2018. PMID 29633576
  10. NJ Jan and IA Sigal, “Collagen fiber recruitment: a microstructural basis for the nonlinear response of the posterior pole of the eye to increases in intraocular pressure”, Acta Biomaterialia, 72:295-305, May 2018. PMID 29574185
  11. NJ Jan, BL Brazile, D Hu, G Grube, J Wallace, A Gogola and IA Sigal, “Crimp around the globe: Patterns of collagen crimp across the corneoscleral shell”, Experimental eye research, 172:159-170, April 2018 E-pub. PMID 29660327
  12. B Yang, B Brazile, NJ Jan, AP Voorhees and IA Sigal, “Structured polarized light microscopy (SPLM) for mapping collagen fiber orientation of ocular tissues”, Proc. SPIE, Emerging Digital Micromirror Device Based Systems and Applications X, 105460I, February 22, 2018.


Contact Information

Ian Sigal, PhD
EEINS-930, 203 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh PA 15213