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Surgeon uses ALGOR FEA tools

28 Feb, 2003 By: Don LaCourse


Surgeon uses ALGOR FEA tools to simulate eye movement

Dr. Robert Park, an eye surgeon with Consultants of Boston and the Tufts University School of Medicine, drew on his background as a mechanical engineer to apply FEA (finite-element analysis) to ferreting out the causes of retinal detachments. Park is using ALGOR’s MES (mechanical event simulation) software to simulate eye movement and accompanying stresses to investigate why nearsighted people are more at risk for retinal detachment and whether patients need to avoid activity after retinal surgery.

Park earned a B.S. degree in material science and engineering from MIT. For his senior thesis, he used FEA as part of his analysis and redesign of lacrosse helmets. He then worked as an engineer for several years before going on for a medical degree. When he became

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Figure 1. Park modeled the eye in detail in ALGOR Superdraw, then defined FEA properties such as materials and constraints.
curious about which areas of the eye are susceptible to damage and what happens when the eye is in motion, he decided to try to quantify the answers in terms of peak stresses.

Park chose ALGOR’s MES because it could predict stresses for a complete biomechanical model based on acceleration and deceleration as well as forces. He first created a detailed model of the entire eye (figure 1), making each element a unique part to consider the material properties of different types of tissues. He then applied rotation to represent a rapid shift in eye position. The highest stress levels appeared in the top outside quadrant of the eye (figure 2), which is where most detachments occur.

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Figure 2. This simulation of a 30


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