Biomechanics of Vitreous Gel

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium

ChEMS Seminar

Prof. H. Pirouz Kavehpour

    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering



The vitreous gel is one of the major components in the human ocular globe. Despite its involvement in several pathologic and non-pathologic processes, the vitreous humor remains a very mysterious part of the eye. Several ocular diseases such as retinal tear,tractional retinal detachment, retinal edema, choroidal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, and glaucoma can arise as a result of vitreous-related complications, which occur mostly due to the vitreous humor's macromolecular organization and viscoelastic properties. What has been missing in the current clinical application is the fundamental understanding of the link between the macromolecular organization and viscoelastic properties of the vitreous gel and its related pathologies, therapeutic treatments, surgeries. This study emphasizes methods to characterize biomechanics of vitreous gel and to correlate the molecular structure, component interactions, and viscoelastic properties of the vitreous humor to vitreous-related pathologies and surgeries. Full understanding of such correlation will significantly impact current clinical practices in the three areas of 1) diagnosis of ocular disease and complications, 2) drug delivery in the eye, and 3) eye surgery.


Prof. H. Pirouz Kavehpour is associate professor and Director of the Complex Fluid & Interfacial Physics Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. He received his B.S from Sharif University of Technology (Tehran, Iran) in 1991, and his M.S. in 1997 at the University of Rhode Island where he investigated the heat transfer and fluid mechanics of gaseous flows in microchannels. Dr. Kavehpour performed his Ph.D. research at MIT (2003) in the Hatsopoulos Microfluids Laboratory. His thesis focused on the imaging and theoretical investigation of contact-line dynamics in spreading films. He stayed at MIT for his post-doctoral research on the lubricity and rheology of complex fluids in microfluidic devices and in high-speed fiber-coating processes.

Prof. Kavehpour’s research includes spreading of polymeric fluids, biofluids, transport phenomena in biological tissues,  micro-scale fluid mechanics and tribo-rheology of complex fluids. He is a recipient of the Army Young Investigator award (YIP) for his research on interfacial properties of the ionic liquids. In the last couple of years, Prof. Kavehpour has been focused on vitreous gel and in its mechano-biology.