Rapid, high-resolution 3-D images of the retina

May 2, 2007

In efforts that may improve diagnoses of many eye diseases, researchers will introduce a new type of laser for providing high-resolution 3-D images of the retina, the part of the eye that converts light to electrical signals that travel to the brain. The retinal imaging is performed with an emerging method called optical coherence tomography (OCT), which uses light to obtain high-resolution images of the eye, even for structures such as the retina that lie beneath the surface. This research will be presented at CLEO/QELS in Baltimore, May 6 – 11.

Conventional OCT imaging typically yields a series of two-dimensional cross sectional images of the retina, which can be combined to form a 3-D image of its volume. Even more helpful for diagnosing disease would be to obtain very-high-resolution three-dimensional views of the eye. Limited imaging speeds and involuntary eye motion (such as blinking) make it difficult to perform 3-D imaging of the retinal volume.

In ophthalmology applications, OCT systems work by scanning light back and forth across the eye, tracing thin, micrometer-scale lines that row by row build up high-resolution images. Commercial systems scan the eye at rates ranging from several hundred to several thousand lines per second. A typical patient can only keep the eye still for about one second, limiting the amount of three-dimensional data that can be acquired.

Robert Huber (now at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany) and colleagues at MIT have reported retinal scans at record speeds of up to 236,000 lines per second, a factor of 10 improvement over current OCT technology. With their technique, which uses a frequency-tunable laser to achieve fast scan speeds, they obtained a 3-D retinal image consisting of 512x512x400 volume elements of data in a human subject in just 0.87 seconds.

Future clinical studies, as well as further development, may someday enable ophthalmologists to routinely obtain three-dimensional "OCT snapshots" of the eye, containing comprehensive volumetric information about the microstructure of the retina. Such snapshots could potentially improve diagnoses of retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

Source: Optical Society of America

Explore further: Digital eye scan provides accurate picture of a person's general health

Related Stories

Digital eye scan provides accurate picture of a person's general health

November 28, 2017
Personalized medicine or "precision medicine" is the most significant trend in 21st century medicine. "It's all about the right treatment for the right patient at the right time," says Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Head of MedUni ...

GARP2 accelerates retinal degeneration in a mouse model

February 15, 2017
In the retina of the eye, rod and cone cells turn light into electrical signals, the first step toward human vision. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are studying rod cell proteins GARP1 and GARP2 to learn ...

Eye changes may signal frontotemporal lobe degeneration

September 8, 2017
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is present in tens of thousands of Americans, but is often difficult to diagnose accurately. Now in a study published this week online ahead ...

New technologies for retinal therapies

June 19, 2013
The future of the investigation and treatment of retinal disorders is already here at the MedUni Vienna: in the new Christian Doppler "OPTIMA" (Ophthalmic Image Analysis) laboratory headed by Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Director ...

Retinal OCT measures tied to intracranial pressure in children

February 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Peripapillary retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) measures are associated with intracranial pressure in children, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Avastin as effective as Eylea for treating central retinal vein occlusion

May 9, 2017
Monthly eye injections of Avastin (bevacizumab) are as effective as the more expensive drug Eylea (aflibercept) for the treatment of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), according to a clinical trial funded by the National ...

Recommended for you

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.