Numerical solution of ocular fluid dynamics in a rabbit eye: parametric effects

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Numerical calculations of the aqueous humor dynamics in the anterior chamber of a rabbit's eye are presented to delineate the basic flow mechanisms. The calculations are based on a geometrical model of the eye, which represents the Trabecular meshwork (TM) as a multilayered porous zone of specified pore sizes and void fraction. The outer surface of the cornea is assumed to be at a fixed temperature (corresponding to the ambient temperature), while the iris surface is assumed to be at the core body temperature. Results are obtained for both the horizontal upward-facing orientation of the eye, and the vertical orientation of the eye. Parameters varied include: the temperature difference between the iris and the cornea to underscore the important role of buoyancy in driving the aqueous humor flow; and, the pupil size reflecting different levels of ambient light. Buoyancy is observed to be the dominant driving mechanism for the convective motion in both orientations of the eye. Variations in the pupil size appear to have little influence on the IOP or flow distribution in view of the dominant role of buoyancy in controlling the flow motion. The study provides distributions of the shear stress and flow patterns and delineates the important role of the eye-orientation on these results.

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Annals of biomedical engineering

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