Kevin C. Chan1, 2, Zion Tse3, Ning-Jiun Jan4, Joel S. Schuman2, Seong-Gi Kim, 15, Ian A. Sigal, 24
1Neuroimaging Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 2Departments of Ophthalmology and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 3College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States; 4Laboratory of Ocular Biomechanics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States; 5Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
This study explored the use of high-field magic-angle enhanced MR microscopy to evaluate the layer-specific tissue properties of the fibrous microstructures in the eye using the 9.4T scanner. Distinct fibrous microstructures and differential T2*-weighted signal intensity profiles were observed layer-specifically in the anterior and posterior sclera, cornea, lens and optic nerve head at different orientations to Bo. When orientating the tissue samples from 0o to 90o relative to Bo, maximum signal intensity was found for all sclera, cornea and tendon samples at the magic angle (55o to Bo) by 82%, 24% and 220% respectively. The results of this study may open up new areas on non-invasive assessments of biomechanical and biochemical properties of collagen fiber distribution and deformation and remodeling in the eye, and may potentiate future studies on longitudinal monitoring of functional microstructures in diseases involving the corneoscleral shell and optic nerve fibers such as glaucoma, myopia and aging.