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Bogdan Spiru, Sabine Kling, Farhad Hafezi, Walter Sekundo; Biomechanical Differences Between Femtosecond Lenticule Extraction (FLEx) and Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SmILE) Tested by 2D-Extensometry in Ex Vivo Porcine Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(5):2591-2595. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-20211.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the biomechanical stability of ex vivo porcine corneas after femtosecond lenticule extraction (FLEx) and small incision lenticule extraction (SmILE) refractive surgeries.
Forty-five porcine eyes were equally divided into three groups: Groups 1 and 2 were treated with FLEx and SmILE procedure, respectively. Group 3 served as control. A refractive correction of −14 diopters (D) with a 7-mm zone using either a 160-μm flap (FLEx) or a 160-μm cap (SmILE) was performed. For two-dimensional (2D) elastic and viscoelastic biomechanical characterization, two testing cycles (preconditioning stress–strain curve from 1.27 to 12.5 N, stress–relaxation at 12.5 N during 120 seconds) were conducted. Young's modulus and Prony constants were calculated.
At 0.8% of strain, FLEx (370 ± 36 kPa) could resist a significantly lower stress than SmILE (392 ± 19 kPa, P = 0.046) and the control group (402 ± 30 kPa, P = 0.013). Also, FLEx (46.1 ± 4.5 MPa) had a significantly lower Young's modulus than the control group (50.2 ± 3.4 MPa, P = 0.008). The Young's modulus of SmILE (48.6 ± 2.5 MPa) had values situated between untreated corneas and FLEx-treated corneas. When compared to untreated controls, the stress resistance decreased by 8.0% with FLEx and 2.5% with SmILE; Young's modulus decreased by 5.1% with FLEx and 1.04% with SmILE. With a cap-based procedure, both anterior cap and stromal bed carry the intraocular pressure, while in a flap-based procedure, only the stromal bed does.
Compared to flap-based procedures like FLEx, the cap-based technique SmILE can be considered superior in terms of biomechanical stability, when measured experimentally in ex vivo porcine corneas.
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