Sight for sore eyes

An inventive breakthrough from the Applied Optics Group at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC) is set to revolutionise current methods of eye examinations.

Professor David Jackson, Dr Adrian Podoleanu and Dr John Rogers, who gained his doctorate at Kent, have developed an instrument known as an Optical Dual Channel Tomograph. The instrument blends together two imaging technologies. Although in its early stages, it is already being used by ophthalmologists and researchers at New York`s famous Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Retina Research Macula Foundation in New York.

Dr Adrian Podoleanu, of the Applied Optics Group in the School of Physical Sciences, explains that `merging these two technologies offers doctors an in-depth view of eye tissue and patients a less invasive, more comfortable diagnosis`. Dr Podoleanu himself has undergone eye tests using older technologies, for research purposes, and recalls that they may have after-effects – loss of colour vision etc – that can last for hours. The new instrument was built with funding from Ophthalmic Technologies Inc (OTI) Toronto, Canada.

It is hoped that the system, which started out as a bench version filling a laboratory and now exists as a compact chin-rest assembly, will bring more comfortable and more accurate diagnostics to doctors and patients round the world.

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