This research proposal from a multi-disciplinary team of ophthalmologists and biomedical engineers seeks to improve the accuracy of OCT representations of the eye and hence the clinical and research measurements made from OCT images. Hardware and algorithmic innovations will be made and then applied to two important clinical diagnostic measurements. In the anterior eye, accurate measurement of corneal shape determines corneal refractive power. In individuals who have undergone LASIK, however, current clinical diagnostics cannot accurately measure this shape and hence cannot measure corneal refractive power. As these individuals age, this can result in complete spectacle dependency at all distances when they later require further optical modification with cataract surgery; this gap has been recognized as a priority by the National Eye Institute. In the posterior eye, ocular shape is correlated with pathology in myopia. Ocular shape is currently obtained using magnetic resonance imaging, and the attendant logistical and cost barriers with MRI limit the widespread use and investigation of these posterior eye measures. These developments have both direct immediate clinical and research applicability by enabling the specified measures as well as future implications for spatial measurements of the eye from OCT images.
The proposed research is relevant to public health because it is expected to improve clinical care and study of two widespread eye conditions: cataract (surgery) and myopia. The proposed research directly addresses topics in the NEI's Vision Research Needs, Gaps, and Opportunities: to 'address cataract surgery outcomes for the aging population of postrefractive surgery patients' and addresses a way to clinically study morphometry in myopia progression. Thus, the proposed vision research is relevant to the part of NIH's mission to pursue and apply knowledge to help improve quality of life through health research.
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