Modeling passive mechanical interaction between aqueous humor and iris

J. J. Heys, V. H. Barocas, M. J. Taravella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Certain forms of glaucoma are associated with displacement of the iris from its normal contour. We present here a mathematical model of the coupled aqueous humor-iris system that accounts for the contribution of aqueous humor flow and passive iris deformability to the iris contour The aqueous humor is modeled as a Newtonian fluid, and the iris is modeled as a linear elastic solid. The resulting coupled equation set is solved by the finite element method with mesh motion in response to iris displacement accomplished by tracking a pseudo-solid overlying the aqueous humor. The model is used to predict the iris contour in healthy and diseased eyes. The results compare favorably with clinical observations, supporting the hypothesis that passive iris deformation can produce the iris contours observed using ultrasound biomicroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-547
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomechanical engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Eye
  • Finite element method
  • Iris bombé


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