"Assessing Corneal Cross-Linking with Reverberant 3D Optical Coherence Elastography"

February 14, 2022

A paper co-authored by MD/PhD student Gary Ge, Professor Kevin Parker, Professor Jannick Rolland (Institute of Optics), and collaborators at Glaukos Corporation (Behrouz Tavakol, David Usher, and Desmond Adler) titled "Assessing corneal cross-linking with reverberant 3D optical coherence elastography" has been published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics. The abstract follows; more information can be found here.

Abstract: Corneal cross-linking (CXL) is a well-known procedure for treating certain eye disorders such as keratoconus. However, characterization of the biomechanical changes in the cornea as a result of this procedure is still under active research. Specifically, there is a clinical need for high-resolution characterization of individual corneal layers. A high-resolution elastography method in conjunction with a custom optical coherence tomography system is used to track these biomechanical changes in individual corneal layers. Pre- and post-treatment analysis for both low-dose and high-dose CXL experiments are performed. A recently developed elastography technique that utilizes the theory of reverberant shear wave fields, with optical coherence tomography as the modality, is applied to pig corneas ex vivo to evaluate elasticity changes associated with corneal CXL. Sets of low-dose and high-dose CXL treatments are evaluated before and after treatments with three pairs of pig corneas per experiment. The reverberant three-dimensional (3D) optical coherence elastography (OCE) technique can identify increases in elasticity associated with both low-dose and high-dose CXL treatments. There is a notable graphical difference between low-dose and high-dose treatments. In addition, the technique is able to identify which layers of the cornea are potentially affected by the CXL procedure and provides insight into the nonlinearity of the elasticity changes. The reverberant 3D OCE technique can identify depth-resolved changes in elasticity of the cornea associated with CXL procedures. This method could be translated to assess and monitor CXL efficacy in various clinical settings.