, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 603–612 | Cite as

On the use of uniaxial tests on the sclera to understand the difference between emmetropic and highly myopic eyes

  • Mario R. Romano
  • Vito Romano
  • Anna Pandolfi
  • Ciro Costagliola
  • Maurizio Angelillo
Advances in Biomechanics: from foundations to applications


This study aims at assessing the differences between highly myopic eyes and emmetropic eyes in the biomechanical response to ex vivo uniaxial tests of the human sclera. Scleral strips were collected from two enucleated eyes with markedly different axial length (AXL) of 24 and 31 mm, respectively. Static stress measurements under uniaxial loading were carried out with a Zwicki-Line testing machine, specially designed for low load mechanical testing applications. Although all uniaxial stress–strain curves showed an exponential response typical of biological viscoelastic materials loaded within the physiological strain range, the qualitative behavior was ostensibly different between the two eyes. With respect to the 24 mm AXL eye, the 31 mm AXL eye mm showed a lower stiffness at physiological strains and a more evident stiffening at larger strains. It was concluded that the myopic eye is more compliant at low strains and stiffer at strains larger than the physiological ones. An interpretation of this behaviour is that the higher percentage of small diameter collagen in myopic sclera delays the process of fiber recruitment and shifts the tissue stiffening to higher strains.


Stress strain Sclera Biomechanical features High myopia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have conflict of interests to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario R. Romano
    • 1
  • Vito Romano
    • 2
  • Anna Pandolfi
    • 4
  • Ciro Costagliola
    • 5
  • Maurizio Angelillo
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Neuroscienze e Scienze Riproduttive ed OdontostomatologicheUniversità degli Studi Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.St. Paul’s Eye UnitRoyal Liverpool University HospitalLiverpoolUK
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  5. 5.Eye Clinic, Department of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of MoliseCampobassoItaly

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