This work presents an effective methodology for measuring the depth-resolved 3D full-field deformation of semitransparent, light scattering soft tissues such as vertebrate eye cornea. This was obtained by performing digital volume correlation on optical coherence tomography volume reconstructions of silicone rubber phantoms and porcine cornea samples. Both the strip tensile tests and the posterior inflation tests have been studied. Prior to these tests, noise effect and strain induced speckle decorrelation were first studied using experimental and simulation methods. The interpolation bias in the strain results has also been analyzed. Two effective approaches have been introduced to reduce the interpolation bias. To extract material constitutive parameters from the 3D full-field deformation measurements, the virtual fields method has been extended into 3D. Both manually defined virtual fields and the optimized piecewise virtual fields have been developed and compared with each other. Efforts have also been made in developing a method to correct the refraction induced distortions in the optical coherence tomography reconstructions. Tilt tests of different silicone rubber phantoms have been implemented to evaluate the performance of the refraction correction method in correcting the distorted reconstructions.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.