Dr. Brittany Coats

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Utah

Monday, June 25, 2012, at 3:00 PM
Warnock Engineering Bldg. Room 2250
Reception to follow at 4:00 PM

Seminar Abstract

The mechanical properties of ocular structures in adults were first evaluated in 1971, and they continue to be extensively characterized today. In stark contrast, only a single study quantifying the properties of the anterior lens capsule in children has been reported. Because of the disparity in the available material property data between children and adults, computational models designed to advance vision research are flourishing for adult ocular disorders, but are practically non-existent for pediatric ocular disorders. Until age appropriate material property data is collected, pediatric vision research will continue to be at a severe disadvantage. This presentation will discuss the history of pediatric ocular biomechanics, identify current needs for age-specific biomechanical data, and detail a recently funded proposal by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation that will provide pediatric vision researchers with data to develop and implement computational modeling into their research. The increased use of computational models will significantly enhance and improve the efficiency of vision research, and ultimately lead to an accelerated path for identifying treatment and diagnosis strategies of ocular disorders in children.

About Dr. Coats

Dr. Brittany Coats is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah and holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Bioengineering. She is the principal investigator of the Pediatric Injury Biomechanics Laboratory which focuses on characterizing the microscopic and macroscopic mechanical properties of the head and eye throughout early development. Her overall objective is to use age and patient specific biomechanical data to significantly improve the understanding and treatment of injury and disease in children.