Optics advance retinal disease diagnoses

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 9:43am

2010 R&D 100 Winner
MEMS_LLNLConventional instrumentation does not provide cellular-level resolution needed to observe the retina to diagnose and monitor blinding diseases. MEMS-based Adaptive-Optics Optical Coherence Tomography, developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif., and three other collaborators, is a clinical imaging method that combines advances in photonics, micromachining, bioengineering, and computer science to provide non-invasive, cellular-level, 3D volumetric retinal images in real time.

The technology allows precise in vivo visualization and characterization of the cellular layers in the human retina. A digitized record helps monitor disease progression and effects of therapeutic treatments.

The system uses an adaptive optics to automatically measure the optical aberrations in the eye with a wavefront sensor and rapidly compensates for these aberrations with a wavefront corrector, increasing lateral resolution by an order of magnitude. The aberration-free signals are then integrated with the optical coherent tomography (OCT) for 3D image acquisition. Implementation of adaptive optics in the system results in increasing lateral resolution by approximately an order of magnitude.

The system was designed with a MEMS-deformable mirror to reduce the size and cost of the system, and allow for mobility in a physician’s office.

The Univ. of California, Davis, Sacramento; Indiana Univ. School of Optometry, Bloomington; and Boston Micromachines Corporation, Watertown, Mass., collaborated on the development of the system.

Retinal disease imaging system

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  
Univ. of California, Davis  
Boston Micromachines Corporation 
Indiana Univ. School of Optometry  

Development Team
The MEMS-based Adaptive-Optics Optical Coherence Tomography Development Team
Thomas Bifano, Boston Micromachines Corporation
Diana Chen, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Steven Jones, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Donald Miller, Indiana Univ., School of Optometry
Scot Olivier, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
John Werner, Univ. of California, Davis
Robert Zawadzki, Univ. of California, Davis

Award Year



Boston Micromachines Corp.
Indiana University (School of Optometry)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (U.S. Dept. of Energy)
University of California


Thomas Bifano (Primary)
Donald Miller (Primary)
Diana Chen (Primary)
Steven Jones (Primary)
Scot Olivier (Primary)
John Werner (Primary)
Robert Zawadzki (Primary)



Share This Story

You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.