New laser based technique helps doctors image full eye in 3D

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Scientists have developed a laser-based technique that can produce a full 3D image of all the layers of the retina, allowing doctors to better diagnose and treat eye diseases such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and cancer. It will enable medics to take an image of the eye ten times faster and over ten times longer range than ever before, dramatically improving their ability to assess the condition of the eye and to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

However, early diagnosis is limited by the ability to make full 3D images of the eye. Eye specialists currently use a non-invasive imaging technique called OCT but, because the eye is continuously moving, it can only make partial images. Until now, this technology hasn’t been fast enough to take a full image of the eye.

Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have developed a swept light source technology that makes it possible to take full 3D OCT images of the eye and this innovative technology is being commercialised by the university spin-out company OCTLIGHT ApS. With support from Europe’s ‘one-stop-shop’ incubator for photonics innovation, ACTPHAST 4.0, OCTLIGHT has been able to solve a critical challenge in miniaturising the packaging of this novel laser technology to meet commercial marketplace demands.

OCTLIGHT is now manufacturing these light sources to be used by medical technology companies in the commercialisation of full 3D OCT imaging devices.

Dr Thor Ersted Ansbæk, CEO of OCTLIGHT said: “The field of vision and depth is critical to diagnosing diseases of the retina. Our technique allows you to image the whole eye from front to back in 3D. It scans faster so you can image a larger part of the retina. It allows you to image 150 degrees of the retina, and penetrates the eye, allowing you to see all the layers of the retina.”

They have developed a compact and cost-efficient light source module and processing capability that “sweeps” through the wavelengths of the optical spectrum faster than existing methods and has the ability of imaging deeper into tissue than ever before. The product addresses the challenges faced by medical devices companies in terms of finding a suitable laser technology for commercialisation of 3D full eye imaging.

For more information, visit: www.octlight.com

 

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