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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Liying Zhang


There are over 2.5 million traumatic eye injuries that occur each year in the United States. Ocular injuries can occur from sports related impacts, in automobile crashes and by high-speed projectiles from fireworks and BB guns. With the increase in use of weapons releasing fragments, the rate of eye injuries has increased to higher level as compared to total military injuries. The improved understanding of biomechanical mechanisms of impact and blast related ocular injury exposure can help design improved protective device for eye protection. Finite Element (FE) modelling of traumatic event can serve as a powerful tool to study biomechanical process and tissue response of ocular injury at various conditions. In earlier studies, kinetic energy of the projectile was reported as an injurious parameter for predicting eye injuries. However, kinetic energy is incapable of providing information on the local responses of various ocular tissues and associated injury in various ocular structures. The objective of this thesis study was to develop tissue-level injury thresholds for various types of ocular trauma by FE analysis. The first aim of this thesis research was to develop anatomically detailed FE models of human and porcine eyes and integrate the human eye model with a validated FE human head model. The second aim was to validate the finite element model of human eye and porcine eye against eye impact experiments. The third aim was to develop tissue level injury predictors and thresholds for cornea, lens and retina damage resulted from projectile impact. The fourth aim was to simulate porcine and human eye exposed to blast overpressure from shock tube and open field blast and to investigate the biomechanical response correlates with anatomical and pathological findings in the eyes. From the simulation of the human FE head model with eye model, the relationship between the blast induced ocular injury (vision impairment) and blast induced traumatic brain injury were assessed. The simulation results revealed that globe rupture could occur without any injury to the retina at a severe impact condition. On the other hand, during a blast event, retinal damage could occur without a globe rupture at low level blast exposure. The FE human head model with eye model developed from the current study can be used a powerful tool to study the risk and relationship between the brain injury, facial injury, orbital injury and eye injury as a result of facial impact and blast exposure in a variety of environments.

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