We propose the acquisition of Bioptigen, Inc. 840 nm SDOCT Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) bundled with Phoenix Research Laboratories, Inc. Micron II Retinal Imaging Microscope package (total cost $274,940) for use with both humans and other animals. These instruments, which are currently not available at UAB will make an essential addition to our existing NIH-funded (P30 EY03039) Molecular Biology/Cellular Analysis Core grant module. The availability of the instruments will complement existing ERG capability and provide a powerful non-invasive analytical suite of instruments to analyze and correlate structure and function of the eye in vivo in the living animal. The proposed OCT/fundus imaging equipment bundle is planned to be housed in newly renovated space created to bring together researchers in Ophthalmology and Optometry and establish a strong cohesive group of retina researchers. The instruments are critical and essential new tools in five current NIH-funded projects (RO1 EY018143, Analysis of rod photoreceptor GARP and cGMP-gated cation channel in retina;RO1 EY019311, Rhodopsin Trafficking and Retinal Degenerations;RO1 EY006109, Quantitative Analysis of Aging Retina;RO1 EY05922, Mechanisms of Ocular Development;and RO1 EY006400, Proteinase Inhibitors and Crystallin Fragments in Cataract). The OCT instrument will also be utilized by a group of minor users that are studying retina, optic nerve, heart and brain. Relevance: OCT is an emerging diagnostic imaging method enabling in vivo cross-sectional tomography of internal microstructures in living biological systems. While the instrumentation was first invented in the early 1990's, only recently has the technology evolved to allow ultra high resolution imaging that is approaching the quality and informational content of conventional invasive histologic analyses. No organ system is more amenable to OCT than the eye. OCT is now in routine use by Ophthalmologists and is becoming increasingly used in research in vision science. OCT is also being increasingly used in medical diagnostics in cardiology, gastroenterology, and other fields. While, routine histologic analysis is an end point experiment, OCT will allow the investigator to follow changes over time in the same animals. The proposed OCT and Retina Digital Imaging Equipment will enhance the already strong Vision Science Research Center Core Grant and adds a new dimension of analytical prowess to advance studies in many aspects of vision science and the study of other organ systems. Public Health Relevance: The instrumentation requested in this application will allow tissues to be visualized in living animals noninvasively. This is a monumental breakthrough in diagnostic capability that has been in use in the clinics for several years and is now available for large and small animals. The use of this new technology will dramatically advance our ability to correlate structure and function in living animals and in isolated tissues and will ultimately lead to new ways to treat diseases in humans.
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