Finite Element Simulation and Experimental Test of Ovine Corneal Tissue Cutting Process in Cataract Surgery Operation

Document Type : Special Issue for ETECH 2020


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Ophthalmology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The modeling of corneal tissue cutting is essential in developing haptic training simulators and robot-assisted surgeries. A finite element model was developed for the ovine corneal cutting process and validated with an experimental setup for the first time. The experimental setup measured force in pre-cutting, cutting, and relaxation phases. The mechanical behavior of corneal incision was modeled by the finite element method. A test setup was built to conduct experiments on 32 fresh and well-preserved ovine cornea. Force was recorded with the sampling rate of 200 Hz. The tests were performed for intraocular pressures from 15 mm-Hg to 18 mm-Hg, and keratome velocities of 1 mm/s and 2 mm/s. The finite element model characterized the nonlinear behavior of the ovine corneal tissue. In the pre-cutting phase, force increased until the instrument tip penetrated. A 12.3% (2 mm/s) and 19.1% (1 mm/s) reduction in force indicated the onset of the cutting phase after which force remained constant. At the relaxation phase, force returned to zero. The cutting force values varied by pressure between 0.183N and 0.287 N for 1 mm/s and between 0.211 N and 0.281 N for 2 mm/s of keratome velocity, respectively. The finite element simulations show that the maximum force errors predicted by the model is 0.042 N for 2 mm/s of keratome velocity. The root mean square of force error between the finite element simulations and the experiments is 0.025 N.


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