We plan to use 10-20 pig (ideally human) corneas and take Raman Spectra. Then Professor Buckle’s lab can perform mechanical tests (modulus identification) on the same cornea samples to compare with Raman signal. We hope to see some correlation between the mechanical properties and Ramen signal, which may show up in collagen concentrations or in hydration.
We also can take the spectra of several corneas at different levels of swelling, which may provide an alternative way to compare Raman signal to mechanical properties.
Crosslinking of corneal collagen is of some interest as well. We will need to investigate if the Raman spectrometer is sensitive to changes in the of corneal collagen.
In the end Professor Buckley is interested in finding a way to diagnose Keratoconus in human cornea before the onset of corneal thinning. Our goal is to develop a way of analyzing the mechanical properties of the cornea via Raman spectroscopy.
Future: In vivo Raman imaging of cornea is also of some interest, however we are not sure if this can be/has been done before. Air pump test – correlation between pressures and mechanical properties?
Berger research group at the University of Rochester