Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Biomedical Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Noel M. Ziebarth

Second Committee Member

Fabrice Manns

Third Committee Member

Fotios Andreopoulos

Fourth Committee Member

Vincent Moy

Fifth Committee Member

Sonia Yoo


Corneal biomechanics has become an increasingly important field within ophthalmology. Striving to establish a relationship between corneal physiological structure and function, corneal biomechanics is an objective, quantitative measure that aids in the development and improvement of diagnostic and therapeutic methods for corneal-related diseases. The goal of this project was to advance the technology of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) as a suitable characterization technique within the field of corneal biomechanics. The studies of this project include the development of AFM instrumentation, experimental techniques, and models to measure the elastic, viscoelastic, and poroelastic properties of the cornea in situ. Such developed instrumentation, techniques, and models were then implemented to quantify the treatment efficacy of corneal crosslinking for keratoconus, the most prevalent corneal dystrophy in the United States. In addition, age implications of the treatment efficacy of corneal crosslinking were determined using corneal biomechanics measured from the developed AFM technology.


Corneal biomechanics; Atomic Force Microscopy; Tissue Biomechanics; Characterization; Ophthalmology; Cornea Crosslinking