3-D Snapshots of Eyes Reveal Details of Age-related Blindness



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society
+1.202.416.1435
lmeyer@osa.org

Devin Powell
American Institute of Physics
301.209.3099
dpowell@aip.org

3-D snapshots of eyes reveal details of age-related blindness

Interactive Science Publishing Helps Researchers Examine the Problems of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Unprecedented Detail

WASHINGTON, March 19— To get a better look at the abnormalities that cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in Americans and Europeans over 50, the research groups of James Fujimoto at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and collaborators Jay Duker of the Tufts University School of Medicine, and Joel Schuman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created ultra-detailed 3-D images of the eyes of more than 2,000 people from different ethnic groups, 400 of whom have AMD. Selected electronic data, published in the special Interactive Science Publishing (ISP) issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal, may pave the way for new diagnostic software useful for developing new treatments.

AMD is a condition in which the macula -- the region of highest visual acuity in the retina -- stops functioning properly. AMD causes blurred vision and, in advanced cases, a large blind spot in the center of one’s vision.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has become a standard tool for assessing AMD and other eye diseases. An OCT instrument shoots beams of infrared light into the retina, where they are reflected to greater or lesser extent by different structures within the eye. By measuring the echoe time delays of reflected light, an ophthalmologist can have a cross-sectional or three dimensional view of the retina’s layers. This high resolution, three dimensional image reveals abnormalities that can be used to track disease progression and response to treatment.

Fujimoto's team uses an OCT machine with a resolution two times higher than commercial OCTs. In this study, they imaged the retinas of 400 people suffering from different stages of macular degeneration. Their profiles range from a 54-year-old man with mild AMD and 20/20 vision, to a 77-year-old woman with advanced AMD who can just barely count fingers from a distance of four feet. Each person's eye was scanned in 180 different slices and stitched together to form a 3-D image of the eye.

Most of the patients suffer from “dry” AMD, the milder and more common form of the disease. The hallmark of this condition is drusens, small yellowish clumps that build up between the layers of retina. These masses tend to progress with time, eventually disrupting the structure of the retina.

Ultra-high resolution OCT reveals the detailed structure of these changes with a resolution that enables individual layers of the retina to be visualized. "This would be hard to resolve with the standard resolution of a typical commercially available OCT instrument, which cannot see ultra-thin layers," says co-author Yueli Chen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scans of other patients' eyes show a more advanced “wet” form of AMD, in which abnormal blood vessels grow in between the layers of the retina. 3-D OCT provides a more accurate estimate of the volume of fluids leaked by these faulty vessels, which damages the photoreceptors in the eye and leads to blindness.

The MIT group is publishing the electronic data in these 3-D images in order to make it available to the image processing community to develop computer programs that can quickly and automatically detect the details and severity of the disease -- by counting the number of drusens, for example, or quantifying the volume of fluid leaked into the eye by faulty blood vessels. Developing these programs will be difficult because of the sheer quantity of data contained in each data set says Fujimoto -- but it is important because quantitative measurements can be used to track disease progression and help establish correlations between the severity of vision loss and changes in the architecture of the eye.

This could provide a faster and more efficient way for drug makers to develop and evaluate new treatments in clinical trials. No treatment currently exists for dry AMD, and treatments for the wet form -- including lasers that burn the blood vessels and drugs that inhibit the growth of new vessels -- can only slow, not stop, vision loss.

 Fujimoto’s research takes advantage of ISP, an initiative undertaken by OSA in partnership with the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, and with the support of the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research. This initiative allows scientists to expand upon traditional research results in journal articles by providing software for interactively viewing underlying source data and to objectively compare the performance of different technologies. This data may be related to medical images, such as those taken with X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds, or it may be created in research involving oil and gas exploration, climatology, pollution monitoring and many other fields. Specifically in this instance, researchers are able to look at the actual OCT scans from the study patients as they read the paper. The software was developed in conjunction with Kitware, Inc. For more information on ISP, visit http://www.opticsinfobase.org/isp.cfm.

Paper: "Three-dimensional ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography imaging of age-related macular degeneration," Yueli Chen et al, Optics Express, Vol. 17 Issue 5, pp.4046-60, March 2, 2009.

Editor’s Note: To set up interviews or for a copy of the paper, please contact Lyndsay Meyer, 202.416.1435, lmeyer@osa.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

About Kitware
Kitware, Inc. (http://www.kitware.com) is a leader in the creation and support of open-source software and state of art technology across five business areas: visualization, computer vision, medical imaging, data publishing and quality software process. By employing open source business and development models the company fosters extended, collaborative communities and provides flexible, low-cost technical solutions to medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, government researchers, the oil & gas industry, computer aided design & manufacturing, aerospace, engineering, and educational institutions worldwide.

Founded in 1998, Kitware has grown to include customers in over 43 countries and in 41 of the 50 US states. Kitware’s team is widely recognized for their major contributions to a variety of open source software systems including the cross-platform build system CMake, the Visualization Toolkit (VTK), the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK), and the Parallel Visualization System (ParaView).

###

Share:
Keyword
Topics

Moisture-Responsive ‘Robots’ Crawl with No External Power Source

26 June 2017   Moisture-Responsive ‘Robots’ Crawl with No External Power Source   Created using only a camera flash and graphene oxide, smart materials move in response to changes in humidity   WASHINGTON — Using an off-the-shelf camera flash, researchers turned an ordinary sheet of graphene oxide into a material that bends when exposed to moisture...

Added: 26 Jun 2017


OSA to Host an Incubator Meeting on Materials for Optomechanical Actuation

OSA to Host an Incubator Meeting on Materials for Optomechanical Actuation  Collaborative forum for problem-solving optomechanical materials challengesWASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) will host the Materials for Optomechanical Actuation Incubator 25-27 June at OSA’s Washington, D.C. offices. This Incubator brings together experts from academia and industry, as well as...

Added: 25 Jun 2017


New Screen Coating Makes Reading in Sunlight a Lot Easier. The Secret? Moth Eyes.

22 June 2017   New Screen Coating Makes Reading in Sunlight a Lot Easier. The Secret? Moth Eyes.   Nature-inspired film is scratch resistant, self-cleaning and could be used on flexible displays   WASHINGTON — Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers...

Added: 22 Jun 2017


New 3D Display Takes the Eye Fatigue Out of Virtual Reality

21 June 2017  New 3D Display Takes the Eye Fatigue Out of Virtual Reality   Innovative technology mimics the depth cues our eyes are accustomed to in the real-world   WASHINGTON — There is a great deal of excitement around virtual reality (VR) headsets that display a computer-simulated world and augmented reality (AR) glasses that overlay computer-generated...

Added: 21 Jun 2017


The Optical Society Planning Member Activities and Events during LASER World of Photonics 2017

19 June 2017   The Optical Society Planning Member Activities and Events during LASER World of Photonics 2017   WASHINGTON — The Optical Society (OSA), the leading professional association in optics and photonics, will host a variety of special events during LASER World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany from 25-29 June. OSA is a co-sponsor of both CLEO/Europe –...

Added: 19 Jun 2017


Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator

16 June 2017  Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices IncubatorIdentify challenges, forge collaborative networks and generate funding and accessibility strategies WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) will host an Integrated Semiconductor Quantum Photonic Devices Incubator meeting 18-20 June at OSA’s Washington, D.C. offices. This Incubator will combine the...

Added: 16 Jun 2017


Researchers Discover Short-Cut to Satellite-Based Quantum Encryption Network

15 June 2017   Researchers Discover Short-Cut to Satellite-Based Quantum Encryption Network   Precise Earth-based measurements of optical signals from satellite show that equipment already in space can be adapted for extremely secure data encryption   WASHINGTON — In a new study, researchers demonstrate ground-based measurements of quantum states sent by a laser...

Added: 15 Jun 2017


Optics Express Celebrates 20 Years of Innovative Research and Scientific Impact

12 June 2017   Optics Express Celebrates 20 Years of Innovative Research and Scientific ImpactFirst-of-its-kind, all-electronic and freely accessible content “experiment” has played an influential role in shaping the evolution of scientific publishing  WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) is celebrating 20 years of its bold experiment—the rapid publication...

Added: 12 Jun 2017


Monovision Proves Shortsighted in the Search to Solve Virtual Reality’s Known Side Effects

7 June 2017  Monovision Proves Shortsighted in the Search to Solve Virtual Reality’s Known Side EffectsNew research from Stanford University puts numbers to the ocular focusing responses of people watching virtual reality; revealing that a simple fix may not prevent a common headache-inducing effect SAN FRANCISCO – Whether through a helicopter ride over the Antarctic or a...

Added: 07 Jun 2017


International OSA Network of Students Celebrates 10 Years of Bringing Young Professionals Together

7 June 2017   International OSA Network of Students Celebrates 10 Years of Bringing Young Professionals Together WASHINGTON – For the past decade, The Optical Society (OSA) has supported and sponsored the International Network of Students Program (IONS), which encourages student chapters to organize meetings and fosters leadership and collaboration among optics and photonics...

Added: 06 Jun 2017


OSA, MRS and SPIE Announce 2017-2018 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

5 June 2017   The Optical Society, Materials Research Society and SPIE Announce 2017-2018 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows WASHINGTON — The Optical Society (OSA), the Materials Research Society (MRS) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, are pleased to announce the selection of Tanya Das and Sarah Vorpahl as the 2017-2018 Congressional Fellows....

Added: 05 Jun 2017


The Optical Society Congratulates the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

2 June 2017   The Optical Society Congratulates the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Detection of a new Population of Black HolesAdvanced Optical Interferometers Discover a Black Hole with a Solar Mass of 49 Times that of the Sun   WASHINGTON — Astrophysicists have long sought to detect ripples in space-time called gravitational waves since...

Added: 02 Jun 2017