Adaptive optics

Sue who attended the Birdshot Day has volunteered to help us with  BUS.  We’ve had a number of offers of help and  really appreciate this and are sure that it is going to help us grow and become more prominent in the future.

Last week she drew our attention to an article about “Adaptive Optics”. This was something that was new to us and looks as if it could be of  interest to people with birdshot.

The article describes a development which is being researched to help look deep into the eyes.  The idea is that it will help with the earlier diagnosis of conditions like  diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma.  Like Birdshot, the earlier these are diagnosed,  the more successfully they can be treated.

The article goes on to say:-

‘Obtaining high-res images of the retina is not so easy, however, due to aberrations caused by imperfections in the cornea and crystalline lens.

Using the same adaptive optics principles that let astronomers see distant objects with such instruments as the Keck Telescope, researchers have created a new device for ophthalmologists to see the eye’s retina at the individual cell level. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), the Indiana University School of Optometry, Boston Micromachines and the University of California, Davis, built three of these adaptive optics–optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT) systems, with help from the National Eye Institute.

“There is a whole history of attempts to image the retina in a way that would help doctors diagnose blinding diseases earlier,” says physicist Scot Olivier, who is leading the LLNL work. OCT can make noninvasive, in vivo measurements of the thickness of specific retinal layers, such as the nerve fiber layer, which thins in patients with glaucoma.

Most ophthalmologists already use OCT to measure nerve fiber thickness, Olivier says. If a company could commercialize the adaptive optics as an add-on to OCT, imagine a new generation of devices allowing volumetric retinal imaging with high sensitivity.’

We’d be interested to hear from any professionals reading this who could give us their view as to whether they think it might be a useful tool?  Any information is welcome.  We’d like to start a dialogue if anyone is interested?

Annie and Rea

http://www.scientificamerican.com/gallery_directory.cfm?photo_id=30E77281-EC22-2D1E-78DE638584AF656F

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