, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 101–117 | Cite as

An Analytical Model of the Dynamics of the Liquefied Vitreous Induced by Saccadic Eye Movements

  • Rodolfo Repetto
Open Access


An analytical model of the dynamics of the vitreous humour induced by saccadic movements within the eye globe is presented. The vitreous is treated as a weakly viscous Newtonian incompressible fluid, an assumption which is appropriate when the vitreous is liquefied or when it is replaced by aqueous humour after surgery. The thin viscous boundary layer generated during a saccadic movement on the side wall is neglected and the flow field is assumed to be irrotational. The vitreous chamber is described as a weakly deformed sphere and this assumption allows a linear treatment of the problem. An analytical solution is found in the form of an expansion of spherical harmonics. Results show that the non-spherical shape of the container generates a flow field characterised by significant velocities and strong three-dimensionality. The model allows the computation of the dynamic pressure on the wall, which may play a role in the generation of retinal detachments. Moreover, results suggest that the irregular shape of the globe may significantly modify tangential stresses on the boundary with respect to the case of motion within a sphere. A simplified analytical solution, for the case of two-dimensional flow within an impulsively rotated container, shows that boundary layer detachment is expected to occur for angles of rotation larger than a threshold value of 15° circa.


Eye Vitreous dynamics Biological fluid dynamics Irrotational flow Fluid mechanics 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria delle Strutture, delle Acque e del TerrenoUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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