Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eye scan makes diseases visible at an early stage

06.09.2019

More and more people over 50 are suffering from age-related vision disorders. According to the World Health Organization, in four out of five cases they could be avoided if they were diagnosed at an early stage. A European team of scientists, including the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, has researched a new method that will enable doctors to better detect such eye diseases in the future. The optical method can provide detailed information on the condition of the retinal tissue. With this eye scan, physicians will be able to detect aggressive forms of age-related macular degeneration sooner and even detect neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

A laser beam hits the eye. This sounds more like a risk of injury at first, but in this case it opens up a chance of healing. "We use laser light to obtain comprehensive molecular information about the retina and thus early indications of diseases," explains Clara Stiebing from Leibniz IPHT.


The European research team is building a device on which patients can scan their eyes without contact and receive a diagnosis a few minutes later.

Ewald Unger/ Medical University of Vienna

In order to find out how much laser power the eye can tolerate and which optical pathway the laser takes, the researcher examined retinal samples and designed a structure simulating the conditions in the human eye.

Clara Stiebing and the research team from Leibniz IPHT, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Medical University Vienna and partners from the Netherlands published their study in the journal "Neurophotonics".

How intense the laser can be without harming the eye, the scientists have calculated exactly on the basis of applicable safety regulations. The result: a laser beam that is twenty times weaker than the lasers that researchers otherwise use for their spectroscopic measurements.

Using label-free, molecularly sensitive Raman spectroscopy, they are able to obtain a molecular fingerprint of the retina. This reveals how high the content of lipids, proteins, carotenoids and nucleic acids is. In this way, changes in the retina become visible, enabling doctors to detect diseases at an early stage.

A particular challenge for the researchers was that the conditions in the human eye were not optimal for optical measurements. "The fact that we are still able to achieve meaningful, reliable results with the attenuated laser beam clearly shows that our technology will enable us to obtain comprehensive molecular information about the structure of the retina in the future," said Clara Stiebing.

The partners of the Medical University of Vienna are currently building a device that combines Raman spectroscopy with optical coherence tomography (OCT). With the help of OCT, the morphology of the retina can be very quickly made visible and suspicious areas can be identified. Raman spectroscopy can then be used to characterise these areas at the molecular level.

"This enables us to obtain high-resolution images from all layers of the retina including information on their molecular composition," explains Prof. Jürgen Popp, scientific director of Leibniz IPHT. "The fact that we can now supplement the OCT previously used in ophthalmology with Raman spectroscopy can significantly improve the accuracy of the diagnoses.“

The European research team is currently working on the medical approval of the device. Once approved, the device can be tested on patients. The patients would then sit in front of the device, have their eye scanned without contact and a few minutes later, they would receive a reliable diagnosis.

The new technologies for the diagnosis of age-related eye diseases and neurodegenerative diseases are being researched by scientists at Leibniz IPHT in Jena together with partners from Austria, France and the Netherlands.

The European Union is funding the MOON project (multimodal optical diagnostics for age-related diseases of the eye and central nervous system) as part of the Horizon2020 program with around 3.7 million euros as an initiative of the Photonics Public-Private-Partnership Photonics21. The research team plans to be able to carry out initial measurements on patients by the end of the project period at the end of 2020.

More information can be found at http://moon2020.meduniwien.ac.at

Originalpublikation:

https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/journals/neurophotonics/volume-6/issue-04/041...

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.leibniz-ipht.de/en/institute/presse/news/detail/augenscan-macht-kran...

Lavinia Meier-Ewert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Bend and snap: New interventions for rib fractures
22.01.2020 | Medical University of South Carolina

nachricht Smartphone cameras can speed up urinary tract infection diagnosis
08.01.2020 | University of Bath

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Integrate Micro Chips for electronic Skin

Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.

Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...

Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

Protease blocks guardian function against uncontrolled cell division

Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...

Im Focus: New roles found for Huntington's disease protein

Crucial role in synapse formation could be new avenue toward treatment

A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers discover vaccine to strengthen the immune system of plants

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Brain-cell helpers powered by norepinephrine during fear-memory formation

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

Engineered capillaries model traffic in tiny blood vessels

24.01.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>