Retinal Tracking for Enhanced Oct Imaging

Period of Performance: 09/30/2000 - 03/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Sciences, Inc.
Principal Investigator


A Phase I research program is proposed to demonstrate the feasibility of combining two emerging technologies, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Retina Position Tracking. OCT has emerged as an outstanding tool for three-dimensional imaging of retinal tissues to depths of millimeters, with resolution of tens of microns in all three dimensions. However, involuntary eye movements during image acquisition currently limit the clinical applications of this technology. Physical Sciences Inc. has previously developed a means for utilizing an auxiliary light beam to lock onto a retinal feature and track its motions, and con-currently steer a diagnostic beam to compensate for eye movements during a diagnostic procedure. This enabling technology has been proven capable of tracking eye movements (simultaneous retina and cornea) at angular velocities up to 200 deg/s with the required precision, and advanced development is planned to increase this speed to 500 deg/s. In Phase I, the tracking technology will be incorporated into a developmental version of a commercial OCT system, and improvements to the OCT performance will be evaluated. This work will lay the foundation for Phase II, wherein a prototype of the combined system will be built and used to acquire human subject data demonstrating the clinical value of the improved instrument. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: OCT is finding increasing application to quantitative nerve fiber layer imaging for detection of glaucoma onset, and to detection and characterization of pathological changes to the retina, such as macular thickness changes that can be an early indicator of diabetes. Combining a retina tracker with OCT, as proposed, is expected to lead rapidly to a new generation of OCT instrumentation that will significantly enhance retinal imaging and diagnostic capabilities.