Innovative imaging techniques to accelerate the discovery of new…


To use this technology for patient imaging and to help interpret the results of stem cell therapy and gene therapy trials for inherited retinal diseases.

FREMONT, Calif.: Optoretinography is an imaging technique that examines light-induced functional activity in the retina, the neural network at the back of the eye responsible for detecting light and initiating vision . Researchers have developed a quick and easy way to perform optoretinography. Retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, afflict more than half of the American population over the age of 60. Researchers have previously used adaptive optics and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize and track these neurons in the moving live eye, then used motion correction techniques to stabilize the images and extract the functional response. These diseases impair retinal function in ways that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The new strategy could accelerate the discovery of new drugs for eye diseases.

Modification of the follow-up form: Optoretinography identifies minute alterations in the structure of neurons that create or transmit retinal signals. This expensive and time-consuming procedure involves resolving and recording the position of individual cell features and using these positions to assess whether the shape of the cell has changed. The requirement is to determine and monitor individual neurons by measuring the velocity, or speed, at which retinal neurons move relative to each other. While using adaptive optics systems to perform optoretinography measurements, the experiment can easily take half a day and generate a terabyte of data to analyze. Data processing to obtain a functional signal requires a minimum of two additional days.

Measure neural activity

For velocity-based optoretinography, researchers created a new OCT camera that allows a single operator to collect retinal images from more sites than was possible with previous optoretinography methods. The innovative procedure involves collecting measurements from three healthy participants. In less than ten minutes, they could collect data from each patient, process that data, and make the results public. They demonstrated that the functional optoretinographic responses obtained with the simple method were proportional to the dose of light stimulus and that the dose-stimulus response was reproducible from one subject to another. The researchers would like to adapt the new optoretinography technique to animal models of retinal disease.


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