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Biomechanical Simulation in Refractive Corneal Surgery

1Scherer K. P., 2Eggert H., 2Guth H., 1Halstenberg S., 2Stiller P., 2Süß W.,
1Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Angewandte Informatik (Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen)
2Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut für Angewandte Informatik (Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen)

Purpose: The refractive behaviour of the human eye is based especially on the cornea with about 43 dpt. With refractive corneal surgery, the different physiological and pathological cases of myopia and hyperopia and other forms of corneal damage can be corrected. As state of the art there are different surgical techniques like photorefractive keratotomy (PRK), in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and different incision techniques. In all cases we have a partially distortion of the human tissue and a deformation of the anterior part of the cornea. This fact leads to different optical refractive behaviour, whereby the final aim is to control the surgery parameters to generate a sharp image of the real objects a the retina position.
Methods: The biomechanical simulations relate to the very complex material tissue of the cornea. With the Finite Element Methods, the postoperative behaviour of the tissue can be estimated before surgical interventions. Patient specific geometrical data and also the material data are very important. The latter are non homogeneous, anisotropic and viscoelastic. The relationship between geometry, material and loaded human cornea are important for the FEM simulation of the real 3-D tissue behaviour. Dependent on the situation the different material models can be included into the simulations. The via simulation calculated deformation vectors at the corneal surface are the input for the optic simulation to generate a retinal image.
Results: The advantage of these coupled simulations are the possibility to recognise the influence of the different surgical parameters on the surgical interventions without doing it at real patients. In this sense a optimised surgery planning is possible.