Mathematical modeling of the forces between an intraocular lens and the capsule

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2002 Oct;28(10):1853-9. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(02)01490-6.


Purpose: To model the pressure relationship between an intraocular lens (IOL) and the capsular bag.

Setting: Department of Physics, Kings' College, London University, London, United Kingdom.

Methods: A mathematical model was made of the forces between the capsule and IOL showing that the pressure related to the local radius of curvature of the IOL at any given point. The local radius of curvature for round-edged and square-edged IOLs was measured from electron micrographs of the IOL profiles, and the corresponding pressure profiles were calculated and compared.

Results: The pressure between an IOL and the capsular bag was proportional to the quotient of the tension in the capsule divided by the local radius of curvature of the IOL, with a constant of proportionality that depended on the coefficient of friction between the capsule and IOL. Measuring the local radius of curvature of the 2 IOL types suggested a pressure increase of at least 69% +/- 6% at the optic edge with the square-edged IOL.

Conclusions: The mathematical model predicted that IOLs with square-edged optic profiles exerts higher pressure on the posterior capsule than IOLs with round-edged optic profiles. The higher pressure may form a physical barrier to lens epithelial cell migration onto the posterior capsule.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / anatomy & histology*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Pressure