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Gold beads show previously unseen parts of the eye


A new study recently published in Journal of Vision, an online, free access publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), shows that gold beads injected into eye tissue can be used to obtain images of important structures in the orbit that cannot be seen with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or other imaging methods.

Researchers from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, Calif., injected tiny gold beads into various areas in the eye which are usually difficult to visualize. The implanted beads were then imaged using a digital dental-type X-ray system and 3-dimensional reconstruction techniques. The study showed that three-quarters of the implanted beads remained where injected over a six-month period, and revealed movements of muscle and connective tissue that figure importantly in understanding how the brain controls eye movements.

"The surprising stability of gold beads in highly mobile eye tissues means that the method can be used to visualize very slow phenomena, such as those related to growth, as well as fast phenomena, such as those related to eye movement," said Joel M. Miller, PhD, lead researcher of the study.

Elinore Tibbetts | EurekAlert!
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