In vivo assessment of corneal biomechanics under a localized cross-linking treatment using confocal air-coupled optical coherence elastography

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The localized application of the riboflavin/UV-A collagen cross-linking (UV-CXL) corneal treatment has been proposed to concentrate the stiffening process only in the compromised regions of the cornea by limiting the epithelium removal and irradiation area. However, current clinical screening devices dedicated to measuring corneal biomechanics cannot provide maps nor spatial-dependent changes of elasticity in corneas when treated locally with UV-CXL. In this study, we leverage our previously reported confocal air-coupled ultrasonic optical coherence elastography (ACUS-OCE) probe to study local changes of corneal elasticity in three cases: untreated, half-CXL-treated, and full-CXL-treated in vivo rabbit corneas (n = 8). We found a significant increase of the shear modulus in the half-treated (>450%) and full-treated (>650%) corneal regions when compared to the non-treated cases. Therefore, the ACUS-OCE technology possesses a great potential in detecting spatially-dependent mechanical properties of the cornea at multiple meridians and generating elastography maps that are clinically relevant for patient-specific treatment planning and monitoring of UV-CXL procedures. © 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)2644-2654
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

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