A new way of taking pictures of the retina could give medics a powerful new tool in diagnosing and monitoring the most prevalent diseases of the eye — glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age related macula degeneration. The technique was revealed today at the Institute of Physics conference Photon 04 in Glasgow.
By 2020 there will be 200 million visually-impaired people worldwide but 80% of these cases are preventable or treatable. For this to happen, screening and early detection are crucial. Sonny Ramachandran, from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, outlined a new technique that uses spectral imaging, a non-invasive and safe method of taking pictures of the retina, to study the blood vessels of the eye and reveal the presence or progression of any disease.
They modified a standard ophthalmoscope, adding a liquid crystal tuneable filter, which allowed them to take images of the retina at a series of specific wavelengths. The images are captured by a sophisticated digital camera - a cooled, low noise CCD camera. Image processing corrects for the movements of the eye while the pictures are being taken, and a large set of images are combined in a "data cube" to improve the quality of the resolution.
David Reid | EurekAlert!
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