The principal objective is to demonstrate clinically a commercially viable, low-cost, high-resolution fundus camera that: is easy to use, i.e., consistent with the operation of current fundus cameras;has a field of view (FOV) that is typical of current fundus cameras (15 to 30 degrees);has a factor of five or more improvement in resolution as compared to existing clinical instruments;and, will be priced below that of today's clinical devices. In Phase I, a low-cost means for removing low-order aberrations, focus and astigmatism, was demonstrated. It was shown that removal of low-order aberrations would result in significantly better resolution images. In Phase II, the specific aims are to integrate the low-cost low-order aberrations compensator into a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO). This new SLO would produce retinal and optic disc images that have five times better resolution when compared to today's commercial cameras. Researchers have sought to gain greater insight into the mechanisms of the retina and the optic disc at high spatial resolutions that would enable the visualization of structures (4 to 8 micrometers) such as capillaries and nerve fiber bundles. Major sources of retinal image quality degradation are aberrations within the human eye. The presence of these ocular aberrations, many of them random and non deterministic, limits the achievable resolution and the contrast of small image details due to diffraction effects. To overcome these fundamental limitations, researchers have been applying adaptive optics techniques to correct for the aberrations. Today, deformable mirror based adaptive optics devices have been developed to overcome the limitations of standard fundus cameras, but at prices in excess of $500,000. The device proposed by VisionQuest addresses the same goals as the above research grade adaptive optics instruments but does so in a manner which will ultimately be better suited for clinical use because of its similarity to current retinal photographic techniques and its lower cost technology. Our proposed device avoids the high costs, complexity, and limited FOV by adopting unique and notably less expensive wavefront measurement and aberration correction techniques. VisionQuest's goal is to demonstrate an advanced imaging technology that introduces an effective and low cost ($10,000 or less) diagnostic tool to the healthcare system.

Public Health Relevance

Retinal imaging for the purposes of diagnosis of retinal diseases or for monitoring the treatment and/or progression of retinal diseases is standard of care. Greatly improved images of the retina, especially at costs that are lower than current fundus cameras, would have a significant impact on our ability to implement broad-scale screening throughout the U.S. for retinal disease. A low-cost retinal camera would enable the early detection and care of individuals with any of the three major eye diseases, i.e., age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDCN-F (12))
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Wujek, Jerome R
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Visionquest Biomedical
United States
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